Under the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 as amended, an exemption is provided that allows farmers to dispose of green waste by burning i.e. untreated/uncontaminated wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves and brush which were generated by agricultural practices.
Temporary Agricultural Exemption
The exemption does not extend to garden and park wastes, cemetery wastes and wastes arising from infrastructural development works.
Burning of such wastes arising from agricultural activities may only be undertaken as a final measure after application of the following waste hierarchy:
- waste arisings are reduced in accordance with best agricultural practice
- waste is reused where practicable
- waste is recycled through shredding and used as compost or wood chippings, where practicable
- waste is salvaged for use as fuel where practicable
Farmers wishing to dispose of such wastes are obligated to inform the local authority by Statutory Declaration in advance of the proposed burning of such waste. A copy of the Statutory Notice Form can be downloaded here: application-form-schedule-for-burning-of-agircultural-waste Holders of such waste, who dispose of the waste by burning without completing and submitting the Statutory Notice Form are in breach of the Regulations.
Precautions to Consider
Burning of agricultural waste as described above, is prohibited during high fire risk periods. Please consult Met Eireann or phone the Eastern Region Control Centre (ERCC) on 0818-3001122 (non-emergency line) for advice. The Regulations place an onus on the person carrying out the disposal to take all reasonable measures to limit the overall nuisance or possibilities for endangering human health or causing environmental pollution or damage to adjoining hedgerows or habitats. Any uncontrolled burning of waste that causes, or is likely to cause, pollution is now explicitly in breach of both Waste Management and Air Pollution legislation and Laois County Council will instigate legal action against offenders.
Further to the above measures, it is important to note that it is illegal to burn any growing vegetation between the 1st March and 31st August each year in accordance with the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended. Only where vegetation has been cut prior to the 1st March, is it legal to burn this after March 1st. It must be noted that any cut vegetation may still provide a nesting site for birds and before burning, landowners should check any such vegetation to ensure there are no nests present.
If you require further information / clarification on this please contact Steven Craig on (057)- 8674324.
End of Temporary Exemption
The aforementioned exemption applies until the 1st January 2018. After this date, burning of agricultural green wastes will be disallowed unless an application is made for a Certificate of Registration under the Waste Management (Facility Permit and Registration) Regulations 2007, as amended.
The exemption will cease as a result of the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 538 of 2015).
Laois County Council, Environment Section Tel: (057)-8674322
Prescribed Burning Code of Practice – Ireland (Health and Safety Authority)
Note: This page is a guide only. It does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as, a legal interpretation of the Regulations. Laois County Council advises you to read the Regulations in full.