Bonfires and smoke control

We investigate complaints of garden bonfires, fires on industrial and commercial premises, cable burning and smoke from chimneys.

Domestic and garden bonfires

We discourage bonfires as they cause air pollution, upset neighbours and can damage health (particularly of children, older people, and those with breathing and heart conditions).

Most waste, including garden waste, can be taken to your local recycling centre (opens in new window) or collected for recycling for a small fee.

If you choose to have a bonfire at your home, it is your responsibility to ensure that it does not cause a nuisance to neighbours.

If you cause a smoke nuisance we can take enforcement action against you. This could lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if convicted.

Industrial and commercial bonfires

Waste produced on any construction site should be removed by skip or vehicle by a licensed waste carrier. It must not be burnt.

Legal action may be taken against businesses causing a nuisance from bonfires, with a maximum fine of £20,000.

It is also an offence under the Clean Air Act 1993 (opens in new window) to emit dark or black smoke, which is subject to a £20,000 fine and a criminal record.

Cable burning

Cable burning can only be carried out on premises authorised to burn cable for specific purposes. In most cases the burning of cable is against the law and should be reported to us immediately.

Smoke from chimneys

Mansfield district is a smoke control area. This means that it is against the law to emit any smoke from any chimney (this includes garden sheds and greenhouses) within the district.

If you have a solid fuel fire or burner this will affect you. Only authorised smokeless fuel (approved fuels) (opens in new window), which can be ignited by bottled gas, firelighters or electric igniters, can be burned.

Ordinary coal and wood are not authorised fuels and cannot be burned unless they are being burned on an exempted appliance (opens in new window).

As well as using smokeless fuel, you should make sure that the fire or burner that you use is an approved appliance and is suitable for the type of fuel you use.

If you would like further information on the different types of solid fuel and approved appliances, please contact us or HETAS (opens in new window).

Report smoke from a bonfire

If you are bothered by smoke from a bonfire or other burning that is taking place outdoors, you can complain to us. We will visit and consider whether the smoke is causing a nuisance and take action if necessary.

To complain, contact us or use our online form.

Bonfires which are out of control or built in dangerous locations should be reported to the fire service immediately by contacting 999.