It is not illegal
to have a bonfire, but you could be fined if it causes a nuisance.
encourage you not to have bonfires because they can cause air pollution and affect people with breathing
difficulties. Instead of burning
your waste please take it to our Reuse and Recycling Centre in Morden, compost
waste at home, use our garden waste collection service, or our
free bulky waste collection service.
If smoke from a bonfire is causing a danger
to traffic please contact the police.
you feel that smoke is causing a problem, contact us giving the address where it
is being held.
We do not provide a 24/7 service. In
most cases we would carry out any enforcement action required on the same or next working day (Monday
We can issue an ‘abatement notice’ if a
bonfire is causing a nuisance. A bonfire must happen frequently to be considered a nuisance. You can
be fined up to £5,000 if you do not comply with an abatement notice.
Commercial waste must not be disposed of by burning.
carrying out work at your property must not burn waste and you must ensure that they arrange for proper
disposal of waste from your property.
How to minimise the effect
If you consider that you do need to have a bonfire please consider your neighbours.
not start a bonfire if your neighbours have their washing out, or if they are outside enjoying their
gardens or have their windows wide open.
- Choose a time of the day that will cause
the least inconvenience to your neighbours. Avoid burning at weekends and on bank holidays.
the wind direction. Avoid burning when the wind is likely to carry the smoke over roads or into other
- Only burn dry materials.
- Keep a good flame
burning and feed the fire little and often.
- Do not leave the fire to smoulder or
smoke. Hose it down completely before you leave it.
- Do not try to burn items such
as grass cuttings.
- Never burn rubber, lino, oily or plastic materials which give
off heavy or toxic smoke.
Environmental Health Section
Environment and Regeneration
Telephone: 020 8545 3025