What is Backyard Burning?

It is the:

  • Burning of waste in a barrel or exposed heap (bonfire) in a yard or garden
  • Burning in a purchased ready-made "home incinerator"
  • Burning of commercial waste on a business premises or farmyard
  • Burning of waste on a building site


Backyard burning of waste is illegal and is subject to prosecution.

Burning waste is not only a nuisance to neighbours; it can release many harmful chemicals into the air you breathe. Many people may think that they are doing the right thing in reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and saving money but they are both causing long term environmental pollution and interfering with the lives of others living in their area. Burning waste in your home or garden can damage your health, as well as that of your children and your neighbours. Such illegal practices lead to the release of toxic dioxins which are a real hazard for people's health and the environment.

In September 2009, a law concerning waste disposal by burning came into force. These regulations, the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 286 of 2009) make explicit the offence of disposal of waste by uncontrolled burning and prohibits such disposal within the curtilage of a dwelling.

Failure to comply with these regulations is an offence and fines of up to €5,000 may be imposed.

If your neighbour or someone else you see is illegally burning waste, then in the interest of your own health and the environment, please report the incident to the 24 hour National Environmental Complaints Line, lo-call telephone number 1800 365 123.