Are you aware of what you're burning this Guy Fawkes night?
The Environment Agency is reminding people it’s illegal to burn many types of waste.
Burning certain types of waste and setting fire to treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment.
Every year on November 5, bits of old furniture are used to build up bonfires and stuff the Guy with scraps of used foam or old clothing.
Organisers are being asked to be vigilant about the materials deposited on their bonfire, while preventing others from dumping illegal waste on them by keeping the location secure. People will also use Bonfire night as an excuse to burn old furniture, mattresses or even household rubbish.
Organisers and households should only burn clean, non-commercial waste, so if you’re organising a bonfire night make sure you know where the bonfire material has come from and that it is suitable.
People face a fine of up to £50,000 for illegally managing waste. More information and guidance on materials which are safe to burn on a bonfire and further information for organisers of bonfire and firework events can be found on the GOV.UK website.
If the Environment Agency suspects illegal waste is to be burnt at an event, or there is a harm to the environment, they are able to issue a stop notice which will prevent an event from taking place.
Marc Lidderth, Environment Manager in the West Midlands, said:
We want people to enjoy themselves but the uncontrolled and excessive burning of the wrong waste can cause pollution and damage people’s health.
We encourage people to make sure they dispose of their waste legally and safely, and be aware that their community bonfire could be targeted by unscrupulous waste businesses who want to find somewhere to dispose of waste, resulting in the illegal burning of commercial waste.
Organisers should ensure that they know where the bonfire material has come from and it is suitable. If anyone sees any suspicious activities they should contact us on 0800 807060 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.
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