People planning bonfires next week are urged to avoid burning items that harm the environment.
It is illegal to burn most types of waste and setting fire to treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment.
The Environment Agency advises people holding their own bonfires:
- Make sure waste is kept securely before being burned
- Make sure the material being burned is suitable - it may include untreated wood, branches, and small amounts of leaves, cardboard and paper; never include plastics, rubber, glass or metal
- Make sure the size of the bonfire is appropriate
- Build the bonfire as close to the day as possible; as far away as possible from trees, bird boxes and bat boxes; and check for wildlife before lighting the fire.
David Brogden, for the Environment Agency in Devon and Cornwall, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves but the uncontrolled and excessive burning of the wrong waste can cause pollution and harm health.
"It may be tempting to burn old bits of furniture, mattresses and household rubbish, but the toxic fumes given off from burning certain types of material can cause pollution and damage people’s health.
“Be aware your community bonfire could be targeted by unscrupulous waste businesses who want to find somewhere to dispose of waste, resulting in the illegal burning of commercial waste.”
Organisers should ensure that they know where the bonfire material has come from and it is suitable. If anyone sees any suspicious activities they should contact us on 0800 807060 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.