Guidance

Waste exemption: D7 burning waste in the open

This exemption allows you to burn plant tissue and untreated wood waste from joinery or manufacturing in the open air.

Type of activity you can carry out

This includes:

  • a landscape gardener has trimmed hedges and branches and wants to burn them on a bonfire at the same place

Types of activity you can’t carry out

You can’t:

  • burn other types of waste other than those listed below
  • bring waste from elsewhere to burn
  • burn treated wood waste or wood waste coming from any source other than listed
  • use this exemption to burn waste in an incinerator for disposal (see related exemptions)
  • use this exemption to burn waste in a boiler to produce heat and power (see related exemptions)

Householders burning their own garden waste don’t need to register any waste exemptions.

Types of waste you can treat

The waste codes are those listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the relevant waste code and description.

Waste code Type of waste
020103, 020107, 200201 Plant tissue
030105 Sawdust, shavings and cuttings from untreated wood only
030301 Waste bark and wood

Quantity of waste you can treat

You can:

  • burn up to 10 tonnes of waste in any 24 hour period
  • store up to 20 tonnes of waste at any one time
  • store waste for up to 6 months before burning, to allow certain wood waste to dry out

Key conditions

The burning must take place on open land, not in an incinerator or a building.

You should be careful to position the bonfire where it will not cause nuisance to neighbours through excessive smoke or odour.

The burning must take place only at the place where the waste is produced.

You can burn untreated wood waste in a boiler to produce heat and power under exemption U4: burning waste as fuel in a small appliance.

You can compost plant tissue under exemption T23: aerobic composting and associated prior treatment.

You can chip untreated waste wood from joinery under exemption T6: treating waste wood and waste plant matter by chipping, shredding, cutting or pulverising, then use the wood chip for animal bedding under exemption U8: using waste for a specified purpose.

These options above are preferable to burning in the open air because they result in recovering the waste rather than disposing of it.

You can burn waste in an incinerator to dispose of the waste rather than using it as a fuel under D6: disposal by incineration.

Register a D7 exemption

You need to register this exemption with us if you meet the requirements:

Published 28 April 2014
Last updated 21 December 2015 + show all updates
  1. Clarified that householders burning their own garden waste don't need to register any waste exemptions.
  2. First published.