Controlled Burning

The burning of waste is illegal and the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 clearly set out the law whereby no waste may be disposed of by burning within your house or even in your garden. The use of waste burners is also illegal. Incidents of burning of waste will be investigated by the Waste Enforcement Team and may lead to prosecution.

Burning of waste includes the following activities:

  1. Backyard Burning - this is where householders and businesses burn their wastes either on the ground, in a barrel or a mini waste burner/furnace.
  2. Burning of hedge cuttings - this relates to wastes arising from agricultural and landscaping activities where only bushes/hedges, branches are burned.
  3. Bonfires - this is an outdoor fire. Many people enjoy bonfires and they have become a traditional part of Halloween. While some people use only wood and suitable materials for their bonfire, in many cases bonfires are used to burn wastes such as furniture, tyres and other wastes.

One exception to these Regulations is the controlled burning of uncontaminated wood, trees, tree trimmings and brush generated in agricultural clearing, the derogation for which must cease 01/03/23 and will then be allowed for a period of three months, form 01/09/23 to 30/11/23 under the by the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) (Amendment) Regulations 2023

Please note that we have not been advised of a further extension and therefore:

  1. It will be illegal to carry out the burning of uncontaminated wood, trees, tree trimmings and brush generated in agricultural clearing after 01/03/23 until the period from 01/09/23 to 30/11/23.
  2. Offaly County Council will not be accepting applications for controlled burning planned for anytime outside these periods.
  3. All Applications for Controlled Burning must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, 27/02/23, to carry out controlled burning up to 01/03/23, and applications must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, 28/11/23, to carry out controlled burning up to 30/11/23.  Applications after these deadlines will not be accepted or processed.

Uncontaminated wood means that it is free of dangerous substances, preservatives, paints or varnishes, or other artificial impregnation or coating (but excluding garden and park wastes and cemetery wastes and waste arising from infrastructural development works)

Such burning will be done as a final measure following the application of the following waste hierarchy, and in accordance with the fire safety checklist.

1. Reduction of waste arising in accordance with best agricultural practice

2. Reuse of waste where practicable

3. Recycling of waste through shredding and use as compost or wood chippings, where practicable

4. Salvage of waste for use as fuel, where practicable

5. Disposal, where none of the options at (1) to (4) above are practicable or economically viable but subject to the following conditions:

i. Adequate measures will be taken to limit the overall nuisance or possibilities for endangering human health or causing environmental pollution, and

ii. No accelerants will be used when undertaking the disposal activity

Fire Safety Checklist - Controlled Burning

Any person wishing to carry out a controlled burn should:

  1. ERCC Email Notification Form and
  2. Statutory Notice under section 5 (2) of the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No 286 of 2009 Click Here ) 

which are included in the document below.

Both forms are to be submitted to the Environment Department of Offaly County Council by post or email - – to arrive with us at least 1 full working day before the burn

Failure to observe the requirements above may result in charges in the event that Offaly Fire & Rescue Service are called to any site of controlled burning which has not been notified to Offaly County Council

It is the responsibility of the person carrying out the controlled burn to notify Regional Fire Control upon commencement and completion of the burn. Further details in the document below:

Controlled Burning Fire Services Requirements .pdf (size 527.5 KB)