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New Regulations abolish backyard burning of waste.


The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley T.D. has signed new Regulations to abolish the practice commonly known as backyard burning. The Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009, which were signed by the Minister on the 27th July 2009, have implications for householders, businesses, farmers and Local Authorities.

The new Regulations aim to protect the environment from the pollution caused by uncontrolled burning of waste.


An important provision in the Regulations is a ban on the use of devices for burning of waste which are often marketed as domestic waste incinerators. The ban also extends to peoples homes and the use of stoves and open fires for the burning of waste is no longer an option.

Until, January 1st 2014, the Minister has allowed an exemption for farmers to burn uncontaminated wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves, bushes and similar materials that arise from agricultural practices but only as a very last resort. The farmers will first have to investigate all other more environmentally friendly methods of waste management such as waste reduction or recycling by shredding, composting or wood chipping. The exemption to allow burning of this waste only applies when all other methods are found not to be practicable or economically viable and strict conditions apply. Prior notice must be given to the Local Authority and a statutory notice must be signed by the holder of the waste before burning commences.

The legislation allows for prosecutions to be taken against those who burn waste without prior permission and significant fines apply.

Sharon Cameron, Environment Awareness Officer with Mayo County Council has welcomed the new legislation. “The burning of waste has been a grey area for both the public and environmental staff and we welcome the clarification that the new Regulations bring;

The Regulations are fair as there are exemptions in certain cases but at the same time there is a provision for essentially banning the unacceptable practice of backyard burning which can pose a threat to our environment, as well as human and animal health”

Posted: 21/08/2009

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