Bonfire Night – think about the environment.

Every November we celebrate ‘Guy Fawkes’ night with people attending firework displays and often bonfires. Although it may seem harmless for one night of the year, some of the toxins never disintegrate and have a lasting impact on the environment. They can also cause health issues to those who breath the polluted air, especially for those already with respiratory issues.

It is illegal to burn most types of waste items such as tyres, treated wood, plastics, fuels, oil, metal and glass. Any material for the bonfire should be clean, non-commercial waste, the Natural Resources Wales only advise using dry garden waste, untreated wood/timber and small amounts of leaves.

There is no law against having a bonfire, but it is an offence for the smoke or smell of smoke to case a nuisance. In addition to the local air pollution levels, it is possible that visibility is reduced on nearby roads causing hazardous driving conditions.  

Don’t forget that animals can be hurt by burning embers and are often scared by fire. Always check that smaller animals such as hedgehogs are not hidden within the bonfire before you light it.

Residents in Blaenau Gwent are being reminded of the environmental impact burning waste on bonfires can have. Also, to take into consideration the materials that should be burnt and the potential issue that smoke can cause in the surrounding area.

Councillor Helen Cunningham, Deputy Leader / Cabinet Member - Place & Environment said:

“The safest way to celebrate Bonfire Night is to attend an organised public event. If you are planning a bonfire this weekend, then please think carefully about what you burn. No form of bonfire is helpful to the environment so try and be as ‘eco-friendly’ as possible and be mindful that it is an offence to dispose of waste in a way that my cause pollution to the environment.”

Useful Links:

Natural Resources Wales

UK Government

South Wales Fire Service