Bonfires

Bonfires - their environmental impact and the alternatives
If you need to report a bonfire to us outside our office hours you can use our Report It form. The complaint will be reviewed by an officer during the next working day.

 

Report a bonfire

You can contact us about bonfires between 9am - 5.15pm Monday to Friday on 01908 252398 or by emailing envservices@milton-keynes.gov.uk. You can also visit us at the Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ. 

When reporting a bonfire issues to us please provide the following information: 

  • Location of the bonfire- you will be asked to provide the postcode (closest to the bonfire) and address of the location where the bonfire is 
  • Your name address and contact details. Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated.

 

Why does the Council discourage bonfires?

MK Council aims to improving the quality of the environment including the air quality for all residents. This is why we discourage the use of bonfires in gardens, allotments or demolition/construction sites as a means of waste management. 

Bonfires have a seriously detrimental effect on health and the wider environment too. 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 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 and you will be causing a Statutory Nuisance. Bonfires are classed as anti-social behaviour due to the air pollution but in addition the toxic and carcinogenic (cancer causing) smoke and fumes given off are harmful to people's health. For these reasons the MK Council will serve an Environmental Protection Act 1990 Abatement Notice.

If we are satisfied that a Statutory Nuisance exists or is likely to occur or recur, we will 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

You can put food and garden waste into your green wheelie bin or take it to the nearest Community Recycling Centre (tips).

Weeds or diseased material can be used in compost and should not be burnt. You could also bury any weeds or diseased garden waste in a trench and 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. This is a much greener alternative to a bonfire as burning the waste will just turn potential nutrients into carbon dioxide and toxic compounds which damage health and the environment.

What about green waste recycling?

MK Council operates a weekly food and garden waste recycling scheme using green wheelie bins which are provided free to MK residents. Green garden waste is collected from your premises and eventually becomes agricultural compost. More information can be found on the Council's website Food and garden waste

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

Where are the local Community Recycling Centres (tips)?

Garden waste may be taken to one of MK Council's three Community Recycling Centres or tips, which are situated at:

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

Follow this link to see a map of the locations of the Community Recycling Centres

How do I dispose of bulky household items?

For large household items you can use our Bulky Waste Collection service. Contact the Waste Team on 01908 252570 or visit our webpage for more info and to arrange a collection. 

Last Updated: 5 September 2018