WRS are currently receiving a high volume of complaints regarding domestic bonfires at the moment as many people are confined to their homes and are spending longer periods of time in their gardens. So if you are doing some gardening and planning on having a bonfire please consider your neighbours in these difficult times and refrain from having a fire until the evening between 7-8pm onwards as this ensures that people get to use their garden through out the day without being smoked out. It is also recommended that you should refrain from having regular bonfires as it can be considered unreasonable and amount to a statutory nuisance (see below for more information).
All Civic amenity sites are presently closed and WRS recommends that you do not burn any wastes other than green waste in your gardens. For this reason we recommend you hold onto any large or bulky items such as sofas, beds, old garden furniture etc. That you would normally dispose of at the tip for the time being and arrange for the waste to be disposed of when sites re-open.
Householders can burn garden waste, hedge clippings or prunings as long as garden fires do not create smoke that is that is prejudicial to health or a nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If garden waste is damp it can produce smoke. We receive many complaints about smoke, smuts and smell from bonfires. Smoke can prevent you and your neighbours from enjoying your garden, opening windows and hanging out the washing. If smoke gets into a house it can be difficult to eradicate as the smell can impregnate soft furnishings and clothes.
Bonfires tend to be one-off events and in nearly all circumstances WRS will be limited in what action can be taken. We would therefore encourage affected parties to informally engage with their neighbours in such circumstances.
To assist members of the public in instigating successful neighbour engagement we have developed a toolkit to assist you in the process of communicating with your neighbours without causing unnecessary conflict.
The best form of communication initially is in person. WRS advocates such engagement as many problems are caused inadvertently due to a lack of foresight, change in weather(wind direction), fire being larger than anticipated etc. In our experience this is often the most successful means of resolving problems and preventing them recurring.
Our Advice : -
On occasions neighbourly communication may be unsuccessful due to a number of reasons and an alternative method of communicating may be through a friendly letter.
Our Advice : -
You can edit these letter using the following free document editors : -
Microsoft Office starter (windows computers only)
Libre Office (PC,Mac & Linux)
Microsoft Word (Android)
If all informal processes of engagement have failed then you can make a service request for assistance. You can only progress if you can demonstrate that you have made reasonable efforts to engage your neighbours in an attempt to resolve the problems that you are experiencing.
To make a service request please click here
Its not always necessary to have bonfires and there are many alternatives that we encourage the public to consider : -
Composting and Recycling
Rather than burning garden waste or putting it in the dustbin where it will end up buried or incinerated, a compost bin will produce a useful soil conditioner, saving money over commercial products. If you do use a compost bin, you should not put food waste in it, as the smell can attract rats and mice. Woody waste can be shredded to make it suitable for composting or mulching. You can buy or hire shredders and some allotment societies have their own. If using a shredder be considerate; they can be very noisy. Take care not to replace one nuisance with another. Household waste should certainly not be burned on a bonfire. Many items can be recycled. Garden waste should not be mixed with other household waste. Old beds and sofas are not suitable for burning as they give off toxic fumes. Some voluntary groups collect old furniture for repair and re-use.
Information on compost bins and recycling is available from your local council. Garden waste can also be disposed of in some districts via their garden waste collection service. For further information or advice, including information on what you can recycle locally at various recycling points, contact Worcestershire Hub on 01905 765765.
If you are vulnerable and incapable of contacting your neighbour then click here
If your complaint relates to commercial premises click here
General Customer Enquiries -
Please contact us on:
Telephone: 01905 822799
Follow us on Twitter: @RegServs
Worcestershire Regulatory Services
Wyre Forest House