Air Quality

Air quality can be affected by smoke from fires.  State regulations relating to smoke emissions are currently under review. 

Do you really need to burn?

Council provides an extensive rubbish and recycling collection service, which operates weekly and fortnightly respectively, as well as a green waste collection service every four weeks.  For the people living in the areas covered by these services, there should be no need for any burning of rubbish.  Private waste removal services are also available to help dispose of excessive garden waste. Mobile chippers can chip garden wastes into mulch.

If you must burn waste, remember the following:

Fire safety

During fire permit periods for permit and other fire enquiries contact the Tasmanian Fire Service on 1800 000 699.

Smoke from wood heaters

Smoke from wood heaters has the potential to cause serious health and environmental impacts if they are not operated satisfactorily or if incorrect materials are burnt.

Use the following as a guide to using your wood heater to reduce smoke emissions:

Visit Environmental Protection Authority Tasmania  for further information on the best techniques to use when operating a wood heater to reduce air quality impacts from the smoke emissions. 

What is 'well-seasoned', dry fire wood?

“Well seasoned” wood is timber that has reduced moisture content.  When timber has just been harvested, it contains moisture that has been absorbed by the roots to help the tree grow.   When the timber is cut, the wood still contains the moisture until it has been stacked and properly stored, undercover, for an extended period to allow the moisture to evaporate. 

Because it is dry, seasoned wood burns with greater heat than “unseasoned” or “green” wood and produces less smoke.

Seasoned wood can be identified by being less weighty than unseasoned wood, as it contains less moisture.  It may appear a grey colour at the cut end and may be split and open in the grain.

Further information

More information about effective wood heater operation can be found under 'Air Quality' on the EPA website.  

The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services provides more information on the potential health impacts of wood smoke exposure. The Department also provides public health alerts for air quality at sites around Tasmania using real time data.


Clarence City Council
38 Bligh Street (PO Box 96)
Rosny Park, Tasmania 7018
Telephone:(03) 62 17 9500

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Page last Reviewed: 2013-05-15T10:29:34