Bonfires - Environmentally damaging and anti-social

Report a bonfire problem

Complaints and enquiries can be made during normal office hours of 9am - 5.15pm Monday to Friday , either by telephone on 01908 252398, e-mail, or in person at the Civic Offices. 

Information you will need to provide when reporting a bonfire problem: 

  • Location of the bonfire- you will be asked to provide the postcode and address of the location where the bonfire is 
  • Your name address and contact details. Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated.
As from the 1st April 2017 complaints can only be made out of office hours using the Councils Online reporting The complaint will be reviewed by an officer during office hours of the next working day.

"Improving the quality of the environment" is a priority for Milton Keynes Council and it actively discourages bonfires whether they are in gardens, on allotments or demolition/construction sites. Bonfires have a seriously detrimental effect on health and the wider environment. It is not possible to have a bonfire, of any sort, without it causing air pollution and releasing chemicals into the environment. Unless you live in a very rural area with no immediate neighbours the fumes from any bonfire you light will affect other people and will almost certainly constitute a Statutory Nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on the grounds that the fumes are "injurious to health".

If you burn household waste, or items such as furniture, anywhere where it may affect other people or property (which is everywhere in Milton Keynes) you will be causing a Statutory Nuisance. This is because not only is this anti-social behaviour but the toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing) smoke and fumes given off will be 'prejudicial to health'. In this case the council will serve an Environmental Protection Act 1990 Abatement Notice on you.

If the council is satisfied that a Statutory Nuisance exists or is likely to occur or recur, we must serve an Abatement Notice. The penalty for contravention of a Notice under the above Act could be a fine up to £5000, and a daily penalty of up to £500 if the offence is repeated following an earlier conviction.

Bonfires - Alternatives

Garden and allotment waste

Compost it!  Put it in your green wheely bin for collection!  Don't burn it!  The argument that you cannot compost some things such as weeds or diseased material and these must be burnt, is just nonsense. If you build your compost heap properly it will kill everything off.  If you don't want to compost some weeds and/or diseased material then dig a trench in your allotment/garden and bury it. It will slowly break down returning nutrients to the soil. If it is woody material put it through a wood-chipper then use it as a mulch to keep the weeds down.

Whatever you do, don't burn it!  Burning it just turns potential nutrients into carbon dioxide and toxic compounds which damage health and the environment.

What about green waste recycling?

The Council operates a green waste (and food waste) recycling scheme using green wheely bins. Green garden waste is collected from your premises and composted for later use on the land. More information can be found on the Councils website Food and garden waste

For further details, please email Environmental Services Helpline or telephone 01908 252570

Where are the local civic amenity sites?

As an alternative, the garden refuse may be taken to one of Milton Keynes Council's Civic Amenity sites which are situated throughout the Borough, at

  • Crawley Road, Newport Pagnell
  • Newport Road, New Bradwell
  • Chesney Wold, Bleak Hall

Follow this link to see a map of the locations of Civic Amenity Sites in Milton Keynes 

How do I dispose of bulky household items?

By ringing Milton Keynes Council's Environmental Services Helpline or calling in at the Council Offices to book a special collection. For further details, please email Environmental Services Helpline or telephone 01908 252570

Last Updated: 17 July 2018