in this section
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
- Campfire ban rescinded
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:34:11 -0700 Campfires are allowed again in the Kamloops Fire Centre. The Wildfire Management Branch rescinded its campfire ban Thursday, Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. A release from the ministry of environment states rain in the area has decreased the risk of wildfires.
- Campfire ban rescinded in Okanagan
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:33:26 -0700 After more than a month with campfire-free camping, you can now roast those marshmallows once again.
- Provincial fire ban still in place
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:24:50 -0700 Reminder from Vernon Fire Rescue Services of provincial fire ban still in effect, including prohibitions on all campfires and open burning
- Campfire ban lifted in Greater Trail region
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:10:18 -0700 Campers are now free to enjoy the glow of a fire now that the Southeast Fire Centre has lifted its campfire ban.
- Man starts North Spokane garage fire with propane torch
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 19:33:11 -0700 A garage fire in North Spokane on Saturday is prompting firefighters to ask residents to be cautious during this dry streak.
- Ban on campfires
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:09:42 -0700 Southeast Fire Centre indicates a ban on campfire took effect Tuesday, August 5
- Nine companies slapped with DOE compounds
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:29:06 -0700 MIRI: The Department of Environment (DOE) has slapped nine companies with compounds of RM2,000 each under the Environmental […]
- Residents call on Forest Grove City Council to outright ban backyard burning within the city limits
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:19:41 -0700 The Forest Grove City Council accepted a staff recommendation to eliminate the fall open burning season between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.
- Silverton-area fire grows
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 10:05:07 -0700 8.5 kilometersw east of Silverton has grown to almost 100 hectares.
- More about Lake
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 00:14:31 -0700 HAYDEN LAKE - The health advisory for Hayden Lake's Sportsman Park area has been lifted.
- Outdoor wood burning battles simmer in Syracuse
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 20:11:15 -0700 The chairperson of the Syracuse Common Council's Neighborhood Preservation Committee is considering legislation to control complaints about outdoor wood burning.
- Castlegar burning ban announced
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:03:48 -0700 To make a long story short, whatever kind of fires you're used to, don't light them.