You can have a bonfire in your garden but you cannot cause a nuisance or problem to your neighbours. Bonfire problems can result in pollution, harm people’s health and cause a nuisance so you should consider carefully if, and how, you burn waste.
Before lighting a bonfire
Consider the alternatives:
- Home composting – most garden waste can be composted.
- Local recycling centres will take garden and other waste.
- Use your Blue bin (Recycling bin collection) – recycling bins are collected in most areas of Argyll and Bute and may provide a more appropriate way to deal with some types of waste.
- Arrange a special collection for bulky waste – We can collect larger items for you and dispose of them. (there is a fee for this service)
- Consider hiring a skip from a private contractor.
Try to reduce nuisance
You can minimise the nuisance caused by a bonfire in the following ways
- Avoid having a bonfire while your neighbours have laundry drying, are enjoying their gardens or have their windows wide open
- Consider weather conditions and the effect they will have on the spread and dispersal of smoke
- Avoid lighting large fires or burning for long periods
- Avoid frequent bonfires
Whilst the fire is alight
- Burn items as safely as possible
- DO NOT light a fire in a place where it could spread or burn out of control
- DO NOT burn painted or treated wood, rubber, plastics, household rubbish or similar products which can generate toxic fumes and dark smoke
- DO NOT use petrol or similar products to light or encourage a bonfire
- DO NOT burn cables
- DO NOT allow smoke to drift across the highway where it might cause an accident (you could also be fined by the Police under separate legislation)
- DO NOT leave a fire unattended
- DO have a means to extinguish a fire if needed
Try to reduce nuisance
- Avoid burning wet material as this usually generates more smoke
- Respond positively to any complaints from your neighbours
Reporting problem bonfires
If a bonfire is causing a nuisance to you as a neighbour please report it to us and we will investigate. You can expect to hear from us shortly after submitting your report.
Potential action by the council can include the serving of an 'abatement notice' which requires the bonfire to be put out and prevents bonfires being lit in the future.
Normally bonfires must happen frequently for this action to be taken.
Failure to comply with an abatement notice is an offence which can carry a maximum fine of £5,000.
If you would like speak to us about any issue surrounding bonfires, you can phone us on 01546 605519 or send us a message using our contact form and we will get back to you.