Smoke from bonfires

Coronavirus update

During the coronavirus pandemic, Midlothian residents are asked to be considerate to their neighbours by not lighting garden bonfires.

The smoke and dust generated by bonfires is likely to have a bigger impact on residents at this time – most severely on residents affected by respiratory conditions or those who are vulnerable.

As many people are confined to their home, it is important to be able to access fresh air through opening a window or enjoying their garden.

It is particularly important that people do not attempt to get rid of household waste by burning it as this can give off toxic fumes.  Please compost garden waste wherever possible or use a registered waste carrier.

There are no laws against having bonfires, though it is an offence for the smoke, or the smell of the smoke, to cause a statutory nuisance.

Report a bonfire problem

If possible try to resolve problems informally by approaching your neighbour.

If you do not wish to approach your neighbour you can report it to Environmental Health.

We will visit and consider whether the smoke is causing a statutory nuisance and take action if necessary.

Garden bonfires

If you are burning garden waste, you should try to avoid upsetting your neighbours. For example, by preventing them from opening windows, using their gardens or hanging washing out.

Smoke from garden fires can also contribute to local air pollution levels, and can affect people with breathing problems.

It is wise to only burn dry material during suitable weather conditions, and to keep the fire away from trees, fences and buildings.  It is best not to burn bonfires if possible.

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