Smoke pollution

Information on bonfires and commercial waste.

Bonfires

It is not illegal to have a domestic bonfire however, you must ensure that any smoke and ash given off from the fire does not affect your neighbours.

If you do have a bonfire, use common sense, consider your neighbours and only burn clean, dry garden matter that cannot be composted. 

When having a bonfire never:

  • Burn household rubbish or tyres;
  • Burn any materials containing plastic and paint;
  • Light a bonfire close to fences, trees or buildings;
  • Leave a bonfire unattended;
  • Put petrol, paraffin, diesel, lighter fuel, or old oil on a fire;
  • Have a bonfire in damp or windy conditions;
  • Allow your bonfire to smoulder;
  • Allow smoke from a bonfire to drift across a highway - this is an offence.

If you rent a space in the borough, additional rules may apply to restrict or prohibit the lighting of bonfires.

If someone has frequent garden bonfires or creates unreasonable levels of smoke from a bonfire, they may be causing an illegal nuisance.

How we investigate complaints

We will ask you to complete a smoke diary to detail how and when you are affected by the smoke.

We will contact the person having the bonfire to make them aware that a complaint has been received.  

Other measures to gather evidence can include officers monitoring the bonfire themselves.

If it is determined that an illegal nuisance exists, there are a number of legal powers available to resolve the problem, including enforcement notice and legal charges.

Commercial waste

Commercial businesses have a duty to dispose of their waste in a lawful manner.

This involves disposing of waste by licensed waste disposal companies and to receive a waste transfer notice for all waste that is disposed of.

It is against the law to burn commercial waste as a method of waste disposal, and any person found to do this will face legal charges.

This includes burning commercial waste at a residential property.

Burning which causes dark smoke is also against the law and can result in an unlimited fine.

Advice

The Environmental Protection Team is available to provide advice on smoke control measures for both residential and commercial premises. 

Contact information

Telephone: (01642) 774774
Email: environmental.protection@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk 
Our service hours are Monday to Thursday 09:00 till 17:00, and Friday 09:00 till 16:30.