BONFIRE-related calls to Clare Fire and Rescue Services over the Hallowe’en period last year cost over €11,000, as people are urged not to use bonfires to dispose of domestic waste this weekend.
Clare Local Authorities and Clare Fire and Rescue Services are warning the public and businesses not to supply any waste material to persons who do not hold a valid waste collection permit, or face fines of up to €3,000. The call comes in advance of the Hallowe’en period, which traditionally has been used by some to illegally dispose of waste material.
The uncontrolled burning of waste, particularly in bonfires, is illegal and releases toxic pollutants into the air. The burning of waste in this manner is illegal under the Air Pollution Act, 1987 and The Waste Management Acts 1996-2008.
Mayor of Clare, Councillor Christy Curtin appealed to the public to work with the staff of Clare Local Authorities and Clare Fire and Rescue Services during the Halloween and take the advice and tips that are given.
“We have a beautiful county and let us continue to protect the environment for this generation and future generations. Enjoy Hallowe’en in a safe and environmentally friendly manner,” he noted.
Adrian Kelly, Clare’s chief fire officer, added, “Hallowe’en is one the busiest times of the year for the fire services and responding to bonfire callouts creates a strain on existing resources. I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death.”
The public is also advised not to buy, use or supply fireworks. Throughout the country every year, children end up tragically injured and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks. In the period before and during Hallowe’en, Clare Local Authorities and Clare Fire and Rescue Service will be assisted by An Garda Síochána to closely monitor the situation around the county.
According to David Timlin, Director of Services of Environment and Water with Clare County Council, “Businesses and members of the public are requested to desist from supplying any waste material to persons who do not have a valid waste collection permit. Dealing with waste material on any other basis is an offence and can result in prosecution.”
Mr Timlin added, “There are significant risks arising from such bonfires, including the illegal nature of the activity, the adverse effects on the members of local community, not to mention the negative effects on the general environment.”
Any person wishing to confirm the legitimacy of a waste collector should ask the collector for their waste collection permit number and proceed to check it online at www.lcc.ie/wastepermits or, alternatively, contact Clare County Council’s waste enforcement section on 065 6846331.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency have also reminded householders and businesses not to use bonfires to dispose of waste.
Gerard O’Leary from the EPA said, “Hallowe’en is a fun time for everyone but it should not be used as an excuse to burn household and hazardous waste that has built up. Backyard burning is a growing problem nationwide. It is very unfortunate that some people use a festive time like Hallowe’en to dispose of waste illegally. Tyres in particular are frequently burned on bonfires even though they produce toxic fumes, releasing dioxins into the air which can damage our health and the environment. It is important to remember that backyard burning is illegal and can result in prosecution. It is also important to remember that burning of household waste in your backyard, fireplace or a waste burner is also illegal and can lead to a fine of up to €3,000”.
Tips for a safe Hallowe’en
– If you see material such as pallets, tyres, old furniture or other materials or waste being hoarded contact the waste enforcement section of Clare County Council on 065 6846331.
– Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for use in a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, paint tins, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous.
– Parents, business and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires.
– Do not facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property.
– Contact the fire brigade by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.