The call comes in advance of the Halloween period, which traditionally has been used by some people to illegally dispose of waste material on bonfires.
The uncontrolled burning of waste, particularly in bonfires, is illegal and releases toxic pollutants into the air which are known to be damaging to our health and environment. Burning of waste in this manner is illegal under the Air Pollution Act, 1987, and The Waste Management Acts, 1996-2008.
Mayor of Clare, Councillor Christy Curtin commented: “I am appealing to you, the public, to continue to work with the staff of Clare Local Authorities and Clare Fire and Rescue Services during the forthcoming Halloween festivities and take the advice and tips that are given. We have a beautiful county and let us continue to protect the environment for this generation and future generations. Enjoy Halloween in a safe and environmentally friendly manner”.
Bonfires are often built close to houses and other property presenting risks to personal safety and property.
In 2009, Clare Fire and Rescue Services answered numerous bonfire-related calls between the 30th October and 1st November with an associated cost of over €11,000. Substantial costs were also incurred in removing bonfire waste materials and cleaning up after bonfires had taken place.
Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer of Clare Fire and Rescue Services, stated: “Halloween is one the busiest times of the year for the fire services and responding to bonfire call outs creates a strain on existing resources. I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death.”
Members of public are also advised not to buy, use or supply fireworks. Illegal fireworks may be manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious damage to users, particularly children. Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks. Throughout the country, every year children end up tragically injured and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks.
In the period before and during Halloween, Clare Local Authorities and Clare Fire and Rescue Service will be assisted by An Garda Síochána to closely monitor the situation around the county.
According to David Timlin, Director of Services of the Environment and Water Services Directorate, Clare County Council: “Businesses and members of the public are requested to desist from supplying any waste material to persons who do not have a valid waste collection permit. Dealing with waste material on any other basis is an offence and can result in prosecution.”
Mr. Timlin added: “There are significant risks arising from such bonfires, including the illegal nature of the activity, the adverse effects on the members of local community, not to mention the negative effects on the general environment.”
Tips for a Safe Halloween
• If you see material such as pallets, tyres, old furniture or other combustible materials or waste being hoarded in advance of Halloween please contact the waste enforcement section of Clare County Council on 065 6846331.
• Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for use in a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous if set on fire.
• Parents, business and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires.
• Do not facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property.
• Contact the Fire Brigade by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.
Under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations, 2007-2008, all persons engaged in waste collection must hold a valid waste collection permit.
Any person wishing to confirm the legitimacy of a waste collector should ask the collector for their waste collection permit number and proceed to check it online at www.lcc.ie/wastepermits or, alternatively, contact Clare County Council’s waste enforcement section on 065 6846331. Be aware that it is a criminal offence to give your waste to any individual who does not hold a current and valid waste collection permit.
Notes to Editor:
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relation on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clare Local Authorities incorporates Clare County Council, Ennis Town Council and Kilrush Town Council.