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We receive many complaints about bonfires. A bonfire can prevent neighbours using their garden, opening windows or hanging washing. It can also adversely affect children, the elderly and people with medical conditions.

There are no byelaws in place in Aylesbury Vale preventing the lighting of a bonfire from garden waste. However, if you have frequent bonfires, or burn items such as plastics, foam or paint or have a large bonfire going all day you are likely to be causing a smoke nuisance.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 makes it an offence to cause a smoke nuisance to other residents. We have a legal duty to ensure a nuisance is abated.

Garden waste - Most garden waste can be composted, or you can sign up to our fortnightly garden waste collection service.

We have a new Household bulky items collection service  for unwanted household bulky items. This includes normal household furniture and electrical equipment only, not DIY waste, such as rubble or plaster board. Charges apply.

Alternatively, garden waste and unwanted household items can be taken to household recycling and waste centres.

Guidelines for lighting a bonfire

  • Only burn dry material.
  • Never burn household rubbish, tyres or anything containing plastic, foam or paint.
  • Never use engine oil, methylated spirit, petrol or paraffin to light the fire.
  • Don’t light a fire on damp or dull days and in the evenings when smoke will hang in the air.
  • Avoid burning if the wind will carry smoke over roads or other properties.
  • Don’t burn at weekends and Bank Holidays when people want to enjoy their gardens.
  • Avoid burning when the air quality is ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ (check this by calling (0800) 556677.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Do not light a fire close to buildings, trees or anything that could catch light.
  • Ensure your fire is fully out before you leave it. You can do this by pouring water on it.
  • If your bonfire gets out of control call 999 and ask for the fire brigade.

To report a problem bonfire

Date Updated: 24/02/15


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01296 585605