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Open burning

Current state regulations allow open burning only on properties with a land area of greater than 2000m² to allow for fire hazard reduction and on the presumption that burning on larger properties can be conducted without causing environmental effects on neighbouring properties.

While you are permitted to burn, any burning must be conducted so that an environmental nuisance, as defined under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, is not caused.  A nuisance includes anything that causes, or is likely to cause danger or harm to the health, safety and welfare of the public or gives rise to unreasonable or excessive levels of pollution.

We do not encourage open burning, particularly for the disposal of backyard waste that is covered by our extensive garbage, recycling and green waste collection service. Private waste removal services are also available to help dispose of excessive garden waste as well as mobile chippers that can chip garden waste into mulch.

If you must burn, to avoid causing a nuisance, the activity should, wherever possible:

  • Be at least 200m from any building used for human habitation;
  • Have no, or minimal effect to neighbouring properties (burn with a clear flame, don’t let it smoulder);
  • Take into consideration prevailing weather conditions and wind direction (if the wind is blowing towards neighbouring houses, wait until it changes so that it is blowing away from houses before burning); and
  • If the material is damp or wet from dew or rain, wait until it dries out.

You cannot burn:

  • Household waste;
  • Plastic;
  • Rubber; and
  • Wood and products constructed of wood or similar that have been painted, treated or preserved.

On all occasions, before you burn, it is recommended that you contact the Tasmania Fire Service for advice on 1800 005 144.

Operating your wood heater

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

Reduce smoke emissions from your wood heater by:

  • Checking that your wood heater, whether it is new or existing, complies with relevant Australian standards;
  • Only using well-seasoned firewood – timber that has reduced moisture content from being stacked and properly stored, undercover, for an extended period to allow the moisture to evaporate. Seasoned wood burns with greater heat than “unseasoned” or “green” wood and produces less smoke. The Firewood Association of Australia recommends buying wood in the summer months and stacking under a roof cover with open sides;
  • Always burning with a flame;
  • Burning the fire on high for 20 minutes after adding wood;
  • Always keeping the air vents open enough to keep some kind of flame;
  • Not shutting your fire right down when you go to bed; and
  • Never letting the fire smoulder.

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