Agricultural Green Waste Burning Guidelines

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Infrastructure & Climate Change Department

Phone: 01 205 4700 


Below are guidelines to be taken when performing a controlled burn of waste arising from agricultural practices only i.e. waste solely consisting of uncontaminated (free of dangerous substances, preservatives or other artificial impregnation or coating) wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves, or brush, or other similar waste generated by agricultural practices (but excluding garden and park wastes and cemetery wastes and waste arising from infrastructural development works). 

Burning of household waste, garden waste, waste from parks or cemeteries and waste arising from infrastructure develop is an offence and liable to prosecution.

When can landowners burn residual green agricultural waste? 

As a final measure following the application of the following waste hierarchy:

  • reduction of waste arising in accordance with best agricultural practice,
  • reuse of waste where practicable,
  • recycling of waste through shredding and use as compost or wood chippings, where practicable,
  • salvage of waste for use as fuel, where practicable,
  • disposal, where none of the options at (1) to (4) above are practicable or economically viable but subject to the following conditions—
    (i)     adequate measures will be taken to limit the overall nuisance or possibilities for endangering human health or causing environmental pollution, and
    (ii)    no accelerants will be used when undertaking the disposal activity.
  • I shall be liable to potential Environment Inspections costs should an inspection of the location find that the information provided in this application is inaccurate and misleading
  • Before lighting, stockpiles should be thoroughly checked for fauna such as birds, hedgehogs and hares. These species have been known to utilise brash piles for breeding or nesting, particularly brash piles left in situ for long periods. 

The landowner must give written notice to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

Before carrying out any burning:

A statutory notice under section 5 (2) of the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No 286 of 2009) must be completed and signed by the landowner.

The Environmental Enforcement, litter and animal control section of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council must receive this completed signed notice at least 5 days before the burn.

The following details should accompany the submitted statutory notice:

  • the nature of controlled burning
  • the start and estimated end times of controlled burning
  • the exact location of controlled burning including townland name and any significant location markers nearby
  • the name and contact number of the person in charge of the controlled burning.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council will record information relating to the date, time and locations where controlled burning will take place and will pass this on to the Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency response control centre.

Please note this is not a Permit.

The landowner must also:

  1. Notify the Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency response control centre by phone on 112 or 999 at least one hour before carrying out any burning 
  2. Notify the Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency response control centre again on completion of burning.

The Dublin Fire Brigade Emergency response control centre will not record any details in relation to controlled burning unless they receive confirmation from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that they have been notified of the intention to carry out a controlled burn, therefore you may be charged for any call outs if Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are not informed in the first instance.

Advice when carrying out a controlled agricultural burn

Burning should commence early in the day and should be supervised from start to finish.

A fire break of at least 50 feet (16 metres) should be made at the outside of the area to be burned by cultivation or clearing the land of vegetation.

Inform the owner or forester in charge of any woodland nearby.

In addition to informing the owner or forester of any woodland nearby you are also required under section 39 of the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended by the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, that a person shall not burn any vegetation growing within one mile of a wood which is not the property of such person, or other lands restricted by the Wildlife Acts, unless they have provided written notice of their intention to a Garda station in a Garda district in which the land they intend to burn is situated. Notice of intention to burn must be provided between seven and 35 days prior to the burning. Failure to provide written notice is an offence carrying penalties.

Inform your neighbours to prevent alarm.

Burn against the direction of the wind.

Smoke should not cause a nuisance to others or become a road safety hazard.

Do not attempt to carry out the operation alone. Enlist sufficient help to ensure that the burning is carried out efficiently, effectively and safely.

Equipment for extinguishing the fire must be on hand before the burning begins. If possible, have a mobile water tanker (slurry tanker) or crop sprayer with a hose attachment. Fire retardant clothing is required for all workers using fire. Face visors BS 2092 and BSEN1166 are highly desirable. Safety Goggles are also advised. Where prolonged exposure to smoke is likely suitable masks are advised.

No burning should be carried out at night.

If the fire gets out of control and threatens buildings or woodlands, call the Fire Brigade immediately by dialing 999 / 112 and meet the Fire Brigade to show them the best route to the fire.

Before leaving the area make sure that the fire is completely out.

Within SPA designated areas the advice of the National Parks Service should be sought as regards conservation issues. Where Archaeological features are present the National Monuments division of DOECLG should be informed.

Individuals intending to burn must ensure that they have suitable insurance cover and farm safety statements etc. should take account of Burning.



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