Conditions around what can and can’t be burned also apply on the farm.
Burning waste releases hazardous and toxic substances into the air and leaves a concentrated ashy residue so the smoke not only affects people’s health through inhalation but can also affect roof water supplies, soil surfaces and spoil crops. In some cases drifting smoke may cause a driving hazard.
Alternatives to burning waste material
Organise your recycling to make it easy for you and your family. Utilise your local recycling scheme or recycling centres at your local landfill. Take waste that cannot be recycled to a registered landfill site. If burning is your only option:
- Check with your local council as new bylaws have been introduced in some regions that ban open burning
- Contact the fire service as a permit may be required
- Check weather conditions are favourable, ensure the wind will blow smoke away from built up areas and roads for the duration of the fire. Ideally site the fire as far from your property boundary as possible
- Check with your neighbours to ensure they are not going to be working or socialising outdoors
- Stumps, waste timber and prunings should be thoroughly dry to reduce smoke
- Remove material that is bad to burn
- Never use accelerants
- Create smaller fires and ensure the fuel is loosely stacked, fires need oxygen to burn completely.
- Ensure the fire does not smoulder
- Consider postponing the lighting of your fire if there is likely to be smoke from other fires
- Avoiding burning in the late afternoon/evening and on calm frosty days
- Always be prepared to put the fire out if conditions change or you discover that you are causing a nuisance.
Waste minimisation and efficient use of resources to prevent waste from being created is a much better way to manage farm waste and protect our environment:
- reduced costs through efficient processes and purchasing
- reduced pollution by no longer burying or burning rubbish
- environmental benefits – reduced energy consumption, conservation of natural resources, extension of landfill capacity
- demonstrates social responsibility and environmental awareness
- protects the environment for present and future generations
Complaints about bad burning
- Greater Wellington Regional Council does not have powers to enter domestic premises therefore regulation of what is burnt on fires inside the home is difficult although we can provide advice and educate on good burning to prevent adverse health and environmental effects.
- If you are being affected by unpleasant smoke and know where it is coming from you can download this leaflet and pop a copy in the letter box of the property where the burning is happening. If it continues then call the Environmental Hotline 0800 496 734 and provide the address details and we will send them a letter with advice. You will be required to give your name and contact details which will remain confidential.
- Call the Environmental Hotline 0800 496 734 if you see burning of ‘bad materials’ happening outside in your neighbourhood.
Winter air - Masterton