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Fires in the open air - Public Health and Safety Bylaw

6 Jan 2016, 10:00 AM

Burning some waste materials at home in an open air fire or drum, creates smoke and fumes that can affect your health and that of others.  

It’s illegal for people to create a smoke nuisance by lighting an open fire - either in windy conditions or in a way that will cause the fire to become a danger to any person.

WDC’s Public Health and Safety Bylaw (PDF 117 KB) outlines the rules in terms of fires in the open air. Our aim is to prevent nuisances from fires and the spread of vegetation fires/ damage to property.

Any person who commits an offence under the Bylaw can face a fine of up to $1000.

People must never burn plastics as this releases hazardous chemicals into the air. Milk cartons, painted and treated wood, printed materials and plastics belong in the rubbish bin - not in outdoor fires.

There are many ways you can dispose of your waste without burning it. You can:

  • Recycle plastics, paper, glass and tins by placing them in your green recycle bin or take them to the Waitomo District Landfill recycling area.
  • Compost garden waste including tree clippings, trimmings, small branches and leaves.
  • Mulch larger branches (up to 30cm in diameter) using a chipper or shredder and add to your garden as mulch – this can help retain soil moisture during warm weather. 
  • Use a worm farm to dispose of kitchen food scraps.
  • Dispose of household refuse in a WDC blue bag as part of your weekly kerbside collection service.
  • Take larger quantities of refuse to one of our District waste transfer stations for disposal.
  • Larger branches and logs can be cut to size and used as firewood during the winter in an internal domestic fireplace.
  • Hire a mini-skip and place your waste material in the skip for removal.

Are you being bothered by smoke from a fire? Please call WDC on free phone 0800 932 4357.

Restricted Fire Season

Lighting of fires in the open air is restricted over all of the Waitomo District, including all communities, from 12.01am January 11, 2016 to 11.59pm March 31, 2016, or until notified otherwise by public notice.

Fires infographic