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Many municipal bylaws dealing with backyard burning are for fire protection, and often are not intended to protect air quality. Recently, though, several municipalities have passed bylaws that ban backyard burning, or only allow the burning of dry, garden refuse under strict rules and on certain days.
There are real health hazards that are caused by particulate matter that is created from open burning and these particulates also play a major role in accelerating global warming. With so many alternatives in this day and age to open burning, the Clean Air Society is against all open burning on the Sunshine Coast.
What we can do as citizens:Compost and mulch If you are in need of good soil prepare your own - the Sunshine Coast is a rocky place!
A good aged compost gives very healthy soil antagonistic to many soilborne pests and diseases. Your yard residue can be taken to composting facilities at the dump as well. There you can get composted material for your garden. Just grow rye or oats for few cycles and seasons and this compost will turn into proper soil.
B.C. is proud of its beautiful nature. There is no urgent need to get a groomed forest, spotless lawn, or immaculate garden. Great gardeners know how to use mother Nature's smart ideas and ecological mechanisms to make plants grow properly. Nature has no garbage, no waste and no leftovers.
Don't save money on the wrong end. Instead of burning the debris get tree-trimming services to chop or dispose.
Rent chipping machines
If it is costly ask in your neighbourhood for a 'joined chipping event'. Add some coffee and cookies and it becomes a party!
NOT - NEVER - NO
Don't burn any garbage or toxic materials like tires, plastics, construction and demolition waste, treated and painted wood, and rubber. You cannot see the toxins in the smoke, but they are there.
Prohibited burning materialsTo prevent the release of dangerous toxins, the following materials must not be burned:
- demolition waste
- domestic waste (household material and food waste not including newspaper and cardboard)
- special waste
- biomedical waste
- asphalt and asphalt products
- treated lumber
- railway ties
- paint and paint products
- tar paper
- fuel and lubricant containers.
Report a burnWhen the ventilation index for a given area has a rating of 54 or below, it is illegal to open burn anywhere on the Sunshine Coast. The Sunshine Coast falls under the Central Vancouver Island jurisdiction for the venting index. A burn also should be reported if prohibited materials are being burned (see prohibited material list above). If the burn you are reporting is a land clearing or commercial burn, contact the conservation officer and leave a message.
Gibsons: 604-885-6870 Halfmoon Bay: 604-885-5712
Madeira Park: 604-883-9011
Garden Bay: 604-883-9922|
Port Mellon: 604-884-5222|
Roberts Creek: 604-885-6871
For Sechelt residents, please contact the by-law officer:
You can also utilize our Neighbourly Notification Program. See below:
Neighbourly Notification ProgramIt's not always easy to approach a neighbour whose burning habits are causing you difficulties. Maybe you have already approached the neighbour and have been dismissed or treated with disrespect. This purpose of the Neighbourly Notification Program is first, to target directly the producer of smoke with educational materials and advice to make them aware that such actions are affecting their neighbours and community. Second, to remove the burden of direct complaint from the individual(s) affected by the burning. These complaints might include; back yard burns, use of a burn barrel, construction burns, slash burns, and excessive chimney smoke.
What can we do?
We have drafted a series of form letters that will be sent out by the SCCAS advising the people responsible for the smoke that neighbours have asked the SCCAS to send this letter to inform the person about the consequences of their burning methods. The letter will also include greener and healthier alternatives to the burning methods they are using, educational information about the health hazards, and links and contacts where they can access more information.
Your personal information will not be released. Just send us an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org included your neighbour's address, including postal code and name, if possible. Tell us what type of burning is causing the issue and we will send a letter to them within 2 days.
From our blog
- No Incineration Campaign on the Sunshine Coast
- Air pollution ‘still harming Europeans’ health’
- Clean Air Society August 2013 Newsletter
- 10 Easy Steps for Clean Air Day
- April Newsletter and update
- Clean Air - Smells Good to Me
- So Easy to Compost
- Sechelt Bylaw to Phase in Banning of Open Air Burning
- May 23rd: SCCAS presentation to the new Sechelt Council advocating a ban on developers’ burns
- Open Burning video about Alberni Valley, Vancouver Island
- Incineration of Garbage and Other Wastes
- Working with the District of Sechelt toban land clearing burns by developers
- ‘Black carbon’ key to tackling climate threat: UN report
- Clean Air Society Involved in Effort to Ban Developers’ Burns
- Burning Construction and Demolition Waste at HSPP - Green Energy? by SCCAS member Louis Legal
- April 15th marks the start of Clean Air Season!
- Removing one ton of black carbon will have the same effect as removing 2,000 to 3,000 tons of CO2
- Progress and more progress for the SCCAS
- Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Mill is burning plastic
- Drop in U.S. air pollution linked to longer lifespans
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Other resources on this topic
News on this topic from around North America
- Open burning bans in effect for some areas
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 13:41:55 -0700 Milan issued an open burning ban in effect until further notice. Some Iowa counties were also under burn bans.
- Officials issue cautions on seasonal dangers
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:07:40 -0700 Warmer weather has officials reminding residents about seasonal hazards. The Sterling Fire Department Friday issued a press release on open burning, cautioning residents to plan ahead and follow the law.
- KCK Fire Department lifts burning ban
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:06:16 -0700 KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department has lifted the temporary open burn ban. The temporary open burn ban in place has been lifted for today April 18, 2014. Weather conditions will be monitored the next few days to determine if a temporary burn ban will be reinstated.
- Outdoor burn ban begins in a few days
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:10:01 -0700 ATLANTA - If you have some outdoor burning planned, you have just a few days left to do it unless you want to wait until fall.
- Open burning ban lifted for Johnson County
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:28:15 -0700 The Office of the State Fire Marshal has lifted the ban on open burning for Iowa City and all parts of Johnson County, effective immediately. The burn ban went into effect at noon April 10.
- Upper Milford rejects plea for outdoor burn ban
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:52:08 -0700 Couple had collected signatures on petition seeking to stop practice. People who burn outdoors in Upper Milford can continue to do so this year, as long they follow the township's open burning regulations .
- Burn Bans Lifted, But Conditions Still Concern For Brush Fires
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:22:36 -0700 Even with a couple of burn bans lifted Wednesday, conditions in some areas could still be conducive for brush fires. Local fire officials say they look at a lot of factors when giving the all clear.
- Scott County lifts ban on open burning
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:36:34 -0700 A week after it was issued, authorities lifted their ban on open burning in Scott County, Iowa.
- KCK Fire Department issues new burning ban
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:39:03 -0700 KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department is banning all open burning as a result of today's weather.
- DNR controlled burn spreads to buildings and property
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:35:10 -0700 After a controlled burn spread out of control to several buildings, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources determined their staff did not follow protocol for controlled burning.
- Toastmasters host open house
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:46:30 -0700 On Tuesday Port City Toastmasters will host a open house at the The Hall Newman Center at 36 New St., in Oswego. Toastmaster is a club that develops leadership and communication skills. All are invited to visit the Toastmasters on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Continue reading →
- Oswego Cinema 7 Fri 04/11/14 – Thu 04/17/14
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:46:37 -0700 CAPTAIN AMERICA 3D: PG13 THE WINTER SOLDIER (digital) 2:00p 5:00p 8:00p CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE PG13 WINTER SOLDIER (digital) 1:00p 4:00p 7:00p 10:00p DIVERGENT (digital) PG13 1:15p 4:20p 7:20p 10:20p DRAFT DAY (digital) PG13 2:10p 4:40p 7:30p 10:00p NOAH (digital) PG13 … Continue reading →