The burning of garden waste can be unpleasant and a risk to health. Smoke can contain carbon monoxide as well as other noxious, irritating and carcinogenic compounds. Please think carefully before having a garden fire.

Advice when having a bonfire

  • Do Inform your neighbour. There are no time restrictions in law dictating when you can light a garden fire but you should consider when would cause the least inconvenience to your neighbours.
  • Never burn rubber, synthetic material or other chemicals as these can produce toxic and damaging fumes
  • Site the bonfire carefully, ensuring that it is as far as possible from any fences or buildings, and that the wind direction will not blow smoke into neighbouring premises
  • Never light a bonfire when neighbours have washing drying in the garden
  • Ensure the bonfire is supervised at all times and that it is properly extinguished
  • Do not allow smoke to blow onto the road – this is an offence under the Highways Act
  • Do not light a fire if the air quality in your area is poor. Alternative ways of disposing of waste
  • Most domestic waste will be collected by the refuse crew
  • We will collect large items for a small fee
  • Garden cuttings may be composted
  • Domestic rubbish or garden waste can be taken to one of Monmouthshire’s Civic Amenity Sites
  • A wide variety of materials can be recycled

How to complain about smoke nuisance

If you are suffering a problem with smoke nuisance try approaching your neighbours first and politely tell them how the bonfire (or other source such as a wood burner) is affecting you. Of course if you do not feel you can do this or if you do approach them but the problem continues report the matter to us.

Environmental Health will investigate complaints of smoke nuisance. There is no specific definition as to what constitutes a smoke nuisance, but the intensity, duration and frequency of the smoke are obviously the essential factors to be considered. Where a smoke nuisance is substantiated a formal notice is served on the person held responsible requiring the abatement and / or prohibiting its recurrence.

If you make a complaint of smoke nuisance you will be requested to keep a diary of dates / times of the nuisance throughout the period of investigation. Abatement notices will only be served where we consider there to be sufficient evidence. Notices can be appealed within 21 days to the magistrates court.

You can take legal action without us under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You will have to prove your case in court and so would be advised to instruct a solicitor.

Contrary to popular belief there are no Smoke Free Zones/Smokeless Zones in Monmouthshire.

You can report an issue anonymously, but by registering your details you can track the progress of your report and receive updates as it is processed.

If you’ve already registered using the My Monmouthshire app, currently available on Apple, Android and Windows devices, then you can use the same email and password to log-in.