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Bonfire complaints are up – this is what you can do to get rid of garden waste

Published: Friday, 18 September, 2020

Bonfire complaints are up – this is what you can do to get rid of garden waste

If you’re thinking of lighting a bonfire to help get your garden ready for autumn, Stroud District Council’s Environmental Health team is asking you to think again.

Earlier this year we appealed to residents not to light bonfires when large numbers of people were spending more time at home.

“We are grateful to those who responded positively to that message”, said Dave Jackson, Stroud District Council’s Environmental Protection Manager.

“However we’re still receiving a significant number of bonfire complaints which are 45% up on this time last year, so we’re now re-issuing our appeal.

“With many people returning to the workplace, it’s easy to forget that many are still also quarantining at home, including those with a positive test result.

“Coronavirus is a respiratory disease, and the smoke from bonfires will also cause real problems for people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and heart conditions.”

Instead of lighting a bonfire, there are a number of other ways to get rid of garden waste: -

Build a compost heap. A compost heap can be created by simply piling garden waste into a corner of the garden and covering with something waterproof, allowing nature to break it down over time. If you’d prefer to buy a ready-made compost bin, SDC residents can buy them at a discount from

Hire a shredder. Shredders make mulch from woody waste. Why not club together with your neighbours and share the cost of the hire?

Take your waste to a Household Waste & Recycling Centre. HWRCs are now open. Pyke Quarry near Horsley, run by Gloucestershire County Council, is open seven days a week. To book a visit see

While there are no laws against having a bonfire at home, there are laws if the smoke emitted from them causes a serious nuisance.

In addition, it is commonly believed that bonfires are more acceptable after 6pm; however, this is not the case and the lower evening temperatures often result in smoke not dispersing and lingering during the night hours.

Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council’s Environment Committee said:

“There’s simply no need to light a bonfire – it’s very unsociable, annoys your neighbours and adds to climate change so please - just don’t do it.”

Read more information about bonfires

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