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, which has been extended until 01/01/2023 by the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI51of22 - extension until 010123.pdf (size 131.7 KB).

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:

  • use the checklist included in the document below to ensure that the controlled burn is carried out in a safe manner.
  • submit a completed and signed:
  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 - environment@offalycoco.ie – 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 Service Requirements