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Environmental Health

Bonfires and burning outdoors

Find out how to report a bonfire and useful guidance if you are burning material outdoors.

Bonfires are permitted in East Renfrewshire, but only if they do not cause a nuisance or, in the case of industrial or trade premises, do not emit dark smoke.

Report a bonfire

If you have a problem with bonfires in your area please contact us:

Environmental Health
191 Carnwadric Road,
Thornliebank,
East Renfrewshire.
G46 8HR
Email: EnvironmentalHealth@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk
Tel: 0141 577 3782
Monday - Friday
8:45pm - 4:45pm
If it is outwith these times please call our 24-hour 
confidential ring and report line: 0800 013 0076.

You will need to provide the following information when you report the bonfire:

  • Location.
  • Times the bonfire started.
  • How dark the smoke is.
  • A contact telephone number.

Officers will attend the location as soon as they can, however this can depending on staff resources and the time the incident is reported. The earlier the incident is reported, the better as it can be difficult to measure pollution levels of the smoke at night.

You are unable to report a bonfire online at this time.

If there are bonfires causing you concern on a regular occurrence recording the times these take place may help. Please download the bonfire log form to help with this.

If your neighbour is lighting bonfires which cause you a problem, you can approach them and politely tell them how the bonfire is affecting you. They may be unaware of the effect it is having on you.

If the problem continues after discussing the matter with your neighbour, you can report it. The same applies to industrial or trade premises where bonfires are not permitted if they emit dark smoke.

This nuisance can carry a maximum fine of £150 for residents and £400 for businesses.

Times for having bonfires

There are no specific byelaws prohibiting garden bonfires or specifying times they can be lit. However, only occasionally is a bonfire the most practical way to dispose of woody or diseased waste that cannot be composted.

Useful guidance

The best way to prevent causing a problem with a bonfire is to dispose of the material by composting, using your green wheelie bin, arranging a special uplift or take it to the council's recycling centres.

If you dispose of garden refuse by lighting a bonfire, the following guidance should reduce the risk of nuisance:

  • Burn only dry material which will burn quickly with the minimum of smoke, not material which is sodden or still green or still contains sap.
  • Choose a time when wind is unlikely to take smoke into any adjacent premises.
  • Site the fire as far from adjacent premises as possible.
  • Supervise the fire and put it out if a problem arises.
  • Ensure that the fire is out at the end of the day, not left to smolder overnight.
  • If enforcement action is required an officer will need to witness the bonfire.

Barbeques

Barbeques can also cause a smoke problem. Again we would ask users of barbecues to be considerate. If you are having a barbeque tell your neighbours, don't ignite it when they have got washing out, and if its windy check that the smoke won't blow straight into neighbouring properties.

Locate the barbeque as far away from the buildings / neighbouring properties as possible and ensure that any charcoal is dry and suitable before lighting. Do not leave the barbecue unattended.

An occasional barbeque is unlikely to cause a statutory nuisance but if you are being affected by frequent or particularly smokey  barbeques that are causing you concern then recording the times these take place may help.

If your neighbour is lighting barbecues which cause you a problem, you can approach them and politely tell them how the barbecue is affecting you. They may be unaware of the effect it is having on you.

If the problem continues after discussing the matter with your neighbour, you can report it to us.

Any concerns about fire / barbeque safety should be directed to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service or specifically for Barbecue safety :

Air quality

The council continually monitors air quality and reports on pollutants at locations throughout the area which may or may not be related to bonfires.


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