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Cambridge City Council

Council urges residents to avoid having bonfires

News release from 27/04/2020

CITY RESIDENTS are being urged by Cambridge City Council to avoid having bonfires to dispose of their household and garden waste.

Bonfires of any type add to air pollution and can worsen the risks of health problems, particularly for those people who have respiratory conditions. This is further exacerbated with the current Coronavirus lockdown and the fact that the virus is a respiratory disease, placing people with underlying respiratory conditions at even greater risk.

The council is reminding residents that general household waste should never be burnt on a bonfire and should always be placed in black and blue bins for collection as normal.

With green bin collections for garden waste to be phased back in from 4 May, residents are also asked to avoid having garden waste bonfires.

Advice on managing garden waste without the need for a bonfire, along with details of the phased return of green bin collections, is available on the council’s website:

Bonfires can be an annoyance to neighbours in residential areas and can pose a fire hazard which can take up the resources of emergency services.

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “Lighting bonfires as a means of burning waste can cause serious damage to your health and that of your neighbours, some of whom may have pre-existing health conditions leaving them even more vulnerable during the Coronavirus crisis.

“I urge residents to refrain from having bonfires and ask that we all exercise kindness and consideration to neighbours. We also need to follow government instructions to stay at home and play our part in keeping ourselves and each other safe.”

Paul Clarke, Group Commander at Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue, said: “During this unprecedented time we are looking for the public’s support in helping us ensure we are available to respond to emergencies and to help us reduce the number of journeys we have to make.

“Many fires we attend can often be avoided by following safety advice or people being more careful. We’d urge residents to think twice before lighting a fire in the garden and really consider the risks and impact it could have.

“Lighting any kind of fire poses risks. Having a bonfire in your garden might seem a good idea to get rid of waste from a clear out, but these can easily get out of control, and we’ve seen this happen a number of times over the last few weeks.

“The smoke from the fires could also aggravate health conditions for neighbours, particularly if they are isolating due to Coronavirus symptoms.”

For more information on recycling and waste go to: