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Burning of Green Farm Waste

Backyard Burning

Back yard burning of waste is prohibited by SI No 504 of 2013 - Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning (Amendment) Regulations (amended) 2013. The main points of the new legislation are as follows however this explanation does not act as a substitute for the law.

  • It is an offence to burn any type of waste including garden waste.
  • The use of devices to burn waste such as the “domestic waste incinerators”  is an offence.
  • It is an offence to burn household waste by use of stoves or open fires.
  • There is an exemption to allow farmers to dispose by burning of untreated/uncontaminated wood, trees, trimmings, leaves, bushes or similar materials generated by agricultural practices as a very last resort.  (This exemption does not apply unless the waste is generated by agricultural practices so it would not apply to leaves/grass/bushes in a domestic garden for example)
  • This exemption only applies until the 1st January 2018, after which time all burning will be disallowed unless an application is made for a Certificate of Registration under the Waste Management (Facility Permit and Registration) Regulations.
  •  Until 1st Jan 2018: The onus is on farmers to investigate all other more environmentally friendly methods of treatment of their green waste such as reduction, reuse, and recycling by shredding, composting or wood chipping before disposal by burning.
  • The exemption applies when all other options of disposal of the green waste generated by agricultural practices are found not to be practicable or economically viable.
  • The farmers (holder of the waste) will have to apply to the local authority and sign a statutory notice in advance of the proposed burning of such waste.
  • Strict conditions apply when using burning as a means of disposal of green waste (generated by agricultural practices) such as limiting nuisance and protection of human health and not causing environmental pollution.
  • The use of untreated or uncontaminated wood waste and other similar materials can be used in barbeques for the purpose of cooking food.
  • Burning of untreated or uncontaminated wood waste or similar materials may take place at events as may be determined locally by the local authority.

 Procedures for farmers wishing to burn green waste generated by agricultural practices

The applicant must submit a signed application form.  Please include the following (1) Proof that cost of mulching is not economically viable, (2) Photo of nature and volume of waste, (3) Discovery map (Scale 1:50 000) with 'X' marked clearly on location where burning is intended.

Application Form for Burning of Green Waste

Mulching as a means of waste management

An alternative way of managing woody materials cleared from agricultural lands would be to mulch, chip or shred materials. The final product then becomes a resource that can be used for landscaping or gardening purposes on your property.

Equipment to carry out mulching may be available from local tool hire companies but if quantities are large you may want to use the services of Tree Surgeons which would have specialist equipment to carry out mulching.

Contact Details for Mulching/Tree Surgeons are as follows:

Ambrose Gaughan:  094 9258383 (Foxford Area),       Noel McEllin:  094 9032133 (Castlebar)      Thomas O'Rourke:  094 9374981 (Claremorris).  These companies have provided their contact details to Mayo County Council but other companies are available.  Contact the Golden Pages, Internet or Local Media for details.

Environment, Climate Action & Agriculture Department

Second Floor, Mayo County Council
Áras an Chontae
The Mall
Phone: (094) 9024444
Contact Form: Online Complaints / Queries
Open: Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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