RESIDENTS across Barrow are being urged not to burn household and garden waste in a bid to keep people, homes and properties safe. Public protection officers at Barrow Borough Council made the urgent appeal following a number of fires in the borough over the past fortnight. The message has been reiterated by Cumbria Fire and Rescue, with householders instead encouraged to securely store household waste or compost garden waste.
Councillor Tony Callister, spokesperson for licensing and public protection, said: “We would discourage the burning of any waste. “There are a number of reasons for this and principle among them is safety. “We need to make sure neither people nor properties are placed at risk, particularly at a time when we need to protect our emergency services. “But burning waste also causes pollution and lowers air quality which can aggravate respiratory conditions. “This is an unprecedented time. “We know there are people throughout the community who are shielding or having to self-isolate so we would ask people to consider their neighbours and those around them who could be adversely affected by smoke from a fire.” Bonfires are known to be a significant source of air pollution such as carbon monoxide and particulate matter which can have a harmful effect on human health. Barrow Borough Council can take legal action if smoke, ash or smell from bonfires causes a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The legal powers for nuisance also apply to council tenants and form part of tenancy agreements. Residents are advised to first try speaking to a neighbour who is creating smoke that is causing a nuisance while maintaining social distancing measures. But nuisance fires can be reported at firstname.lastname@example.org Anyone who lights a fire and allows smoke to drift across a road could also face prosecution under the Highways Act 1980. Anyone who notices an incident of this nature should report it to Cumbria Police. Composting: Anyone can do it! Composting is a great way to transform garden waste into something that can be reused. It not only reduces your waste, it will help your garden grow. Best of all, it is environmentally friendly. Anyone who knows how to build a bonfire will be able to create a compost heap by following these easy steps. - Start with an earth base. - Add twigs for air circulation. - Then add materials for composting - grass clippings, annual weeds, vegetable kitchen waste. This should make up around 25% to 50% of the total. - Add brown waste - prunings, paper, ripped up cardboard, straw or dead leaves. - Leave to compost! The resulting material will be an excellent soil conditioner for your garden.