Help keep our air clean – don’t burn any old rubbish

Don’t burn any old rubbish on your land – or allow others to do it, you could end up out of pocket.

That’s the message following a prosecution in magistrates yesterday of a landowner who burnt building waste on his property.

A Hartley man pleaded guilty to an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It is against the law to burn controlled waste on land without a permit. This includes household, industrial and commercial waste.

He has been fined £230, ordered to pay £672 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

Magistrates were told on 6 October last year the Council received a complaint from a member of the public about plumes of black smoke billowing towards Kings School, Hartley Road.

He had approached the people responsible as he thought the fire looked out of control and also saw pallets and paint pots on the fire.

The defendant accepted that he had been reckless but told the magistrates the paint pots had not been put on the fire but were nearby and had melted. He realised it was reckless of him.

The magistrates felt that the defendant had been negligent rather than reckless but argued it was still a serious matter.

Councillor Sue Dann, cabinet member for Environment and Streetscene said: “We all want to live in a city with clean air – burning paint filled with chemicals is not going to help make that happen.

“There are laws around what people can burn in their back gardens and they are designed to make sure we don’t pollute our neighbours’ air by releasing toxic chemicals.”

The building company involved is being prosecuted separately for a number of offences under the Environmental Protection Act in relation to this case.

In most circumstances it is generally better not to burn the garden waste but to dispose of it by taking to the local waste recycling centre. The Council also has a free garden waste collection.

For more information about how to get rid of your rubbish visit