Commercial and industrial bonfires

It is illegal to dispose of trade waste by burning and any business doing so could be committing three separate offences. Trade waste is any waste that is generated by commercial and business premises.

Smoke nuisance and black smoke

We can take action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 where smoke from bonfires is causing a statutory nuisance. For commercial premises, prosecution in a magistrates' court could mean an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

It is also an offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 to give off dark or black smoke from any industrial or trade premises. Prosecution can be taken on a first offence and lead to a fine of up to £20,000.

Duty of care

If you own or operate a business you must make sure you are fulfilling your 'Duty of Care' that you are disposing of your waste in the correct manner. By law, trade waste must be collected by a registered waste carrier. The maximum fine for failing to do this is £5,000.

Illegal waste disposal

It is also an offence to store or dispose of (including burning) trade waste without a waste management licence or in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. This type of offence is dealt with by the Environment Agency and if you suspect any business is burning or disposing of waste illegally please contact the Environment Agency's Incident Hotline on 0800 807 060.

Trade waste collections

The Council offers a trade waste service (other trade waste services are available). For waste management licences and requirements please see the Environment Agency website or contact them on 08708 506 506.

How to complain

To make a complaint about a commercial bonfire please contact us.

Street enforcement

Open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Emergency out of hours (between 6pm-3am) 024 7683 2222

Telephone: 024 7683 1853