Burning waste is illegal and an offence under the following legislation: The Waste Management Act, 1996 (as amended), Air Pollution Act, 1987 and Waste Management (Prohibition of Waste Disposal by Burning) Regulations, 2009.
Prosecution - heavy fines up to €5,000 apply upon conviction.
Exemption for Farmers
With written permission and as a final measure in the management of green waste, it is permissible for farmers to burn wood, trees, tree trimmings, leaves, brush and other natural waste generated by agricultural practices. This derogation is due to expire on 1st January, 2022.
Please Note: Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976, as amended by Section 46 of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, restricts the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction by other means of vegetation growing on uncultivated land or in hedges or ditches during the nesting and breeding season for birds and wildlife, from 1st March to 31st August.
Report all suspicious or illegal activity to Gardai immediately. Landowners found burning illegally could face fines, imprisonment and Single Farm Payment penalties, where applicable.
In advance of managing green waste by burning farmers must:
- Remove all timber suitable for firewood from the agricultural vegetation
- Apply to their Local Authority for written permission to burn green agricultural waste
- Complete and submit an application form
- The application will be considered and a letter of permission issued if deemed appropriate (allow 5 working days for the issue of the letter of permission)
- Farmers must follow all instructions given on the letter as the Local Authority carries out regular inspections to ensure compliance with the legislation
How to apply for a Burning of Agricultural Vegetation (BAV) Permit
You can now apply for a Burning of Agricultural Vegetation permit online from the My Limerick portal.
For first time users, you will need to:
- Create a New Account on My Limerick
- Verify your account via SMS
- Click on "My Licence & Permits"
- Click on "Add a Licence / Permit"
- Click on "Burning of Agricultural Vegetation (BAV)"
- Complete the application form
You can download an application form here, or phone Limerick City and County Council Customer Services on 061 556000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any permission issued by the local authority to burn is likely to include any or all of the following guidance:
When Choosing a Site for a Permitted Fire:
1. Permitted fires should be located:
- Outside speed limit areas
- At a safe distance (preferably no less than 15 metres) from buildings, trees, wooden fences, overhead cables, car parking areas and 90 metres from public roads.
2. The burning site should be:
- In a clear open space. Make sure that any combustible materials nearby, such as stacks of timber, hay, straw etc cannot be set alight accidentally
- Built in an area which has been cleared of undergrowth and where any surrounding grass has been cut short. In dry weather, the area should also be dampened down.
3. Any debris left over from preparing the site must be placed well away from the fire.
4. The direction of the wind must be taken into account so that the fire does not blow towards any onlookers, sparks are not carried towards any combustible materials and smoke does not cause a danger or nuisance on a public road.
When Burning with a Permit:
1. The fire should be:
- kept to a manageable size and the maximum height should not normally exceed 3 metres
- evenly built so that it collapses inwards as it burns
2. Accelerants such as petrol, diesel, methylated spirit or white spirit should never be poured onto a permitted fire to light it or revive it.
3. Do not build fires on peat. Peat fires can spread underground and emerge some distance away.
4. Onlookers should be kept a minimum distance of 1.5 times the height of the bonfire to minimize the chances of injury in the event of the fire collapsing.
5. Landowners must notify in writing all forest owners within one mile of the wood, and the local Garda station, between 7 and 35 days in advance of the burning operation.
6. Burning is never permitted at weekends or on bank holidays.
7. In the event of an emergency contact 999.
Further information is available at the following links: