EnvironmentFarm Safety

Burning Agriculture Green Waste Information Note

Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 

The burning of waste is controlled by the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009. The purpose of these regulations is to abolish the practice of burning of waste, by making it an offence to do so under waste legislation. 

A temporary exemption allows farmers to burn agricultural green waste until 1st March 2023 and from 1st September 2023 to 

30th November 2023. This will be the final year the extension will be granted.

Exemption for Agricultural Green Waste

A temporary exemption under these regulations allows farmers to burn wastes generated by agricultural practices. 

The burning of agriculture waste exemption relates solely to material consisting of uncontaminated (free of dangerous substances, preservatives or other artificial impregnation or coating) wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves, brush, or other similar waste generated by agricultural practices. 

The burning of agricultural green waste is done as a final measure, farmers must firstly: 

  1. Reduce the waste arisings are in accordance with best agricultural practice.
  2. Reuse green waste where practicable.
  3. Recycle through shredding and use as compost or wood chippings, where practicable.
  4. Salvaged for use as fuel where practicable.

Conditions of Burning Green Agricultural Waste

Where none of above options are practicable or economically viable agricultural green waste may be burned if the following conditions are followed: 

  • All reasonable measures to limit the overall nuisance or possibilities for endangering human health or causing environmental pollution or damage to adjoining hedgerows or habitats are taken. 
  • No accelerants are used. 
  • The local authority is notified in advance of the intention to burn the agricultural green waste.

Notification to Local Authority

In accordance with the regulations, a farmer must notify a local authority in advance of the intention to burn agricultural green waste. A statutory notice must be completed and signed by the landowner.

The following details should accompany the submitted statutory notice: 

  • The proposed date of controlled burning.
  • The exact location of controlled burning including townland name and Eircode. 
  • The name and contact number of the person in charge of the controlled burning

If you have any questions contact the Environment Section of your Local Authority.

Notify the Fire Service

The farmer must also notify the Fire Service by calling 999/112, prior to conducting a controlled burn at least one hour before carrying out any burning and must call again on completion of burning.   

Guidance on burning Agricultural Green Waste 

Burning should be started early in the day.

A fire break of at least 50 feet (16 metres) should be made at the outside of the area to be burned.

Inform your neighbours to prevent alarm.

Check the weather forecast and do not burn in exceptionally dry conditions where strengthening or variable winds are likely.

Burn against the direction in which the wind is blowing.

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

If possible, have a mobile water tanker (e.g., slurry tanker) or crop sprayer with a hose attachment.

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

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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