Burning exemption extended until 2021 for some farm waste

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment has confirmed that the exemption for burning certain types of farm waste has been extended until January 1, 2021.

The exemption has been granted to allow for a further consideration of the matter, from both a waste management perspective, and in the context of the National Clean Air Strategy, which is currently being finalised.

Under Article 5 of the Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations 2009, the disposal of waste by burning under certain conditions, is permissible.

This applies to material that consists of uncontaminated wood; trees; tree trimmings; leaves; brush; and other similar waste generated by agricultural practices – provided that such burning is done as a final measure following the application of the ‘waste hierarchy’.

According to a spokesperson for the department, the following steps should be taken first to manage agricultural waste: reduce waste in accordance with best agricultural practice; reduce waste where possible; recycle waste through shredding, used as compost or wood chippings; and salvage waste as fuel where practicable.

Under Section 5 of the same regulation, the spokesperson added, notice must be provided to the local authority at least five days in advance of the intention to burn, by providing the information set out in the schedule to the regulations.

Data relating to numbers availing of this provision can be obtained from the individual local authorities.