Backyard burning

Smoke from backyard burning can cause adverse public health effects as well as environmental nuisance, which is an offence under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994. 

As of the 26 June 2019, the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Smoke) Regulations 2019 came into force. These regulations state that, if you are wanting to burn vegetation and vegetative waste on land with an area of less than 2000 square metres that a person must not burn the waste in the open, or in an incinerator, unless –

(a) the person uses all practicable means as are necessary to prevent or minimise air pollution; and

(b) if a valid permit is issued to the person under the Fire Service Act 1979 , the vegetation or vegetative waste in accordance with the permit; and

The means of preventing or minimising air pollution are to include –

(a) having regard to the potential for smoke to have an adverse effect on human health and the environment, taking into account –

(i) wind direction and wind speed; and

(ii) weather conditions; and

(iii) the length of time that the vegetation or vegetative waste being burnt is likely to burn; and

(iv) the proximity of any habitable building; and

(b) taking reasonable measures to ensure that –

(i) only dry vegetation or vegetative waste is burnt; and

(ii) only vegetation or vegetative waste that is suitable for disposal by burning is burnt.

For these reasons the City of Hobart does not recommend burning of any type of waste.

Instead of burning vegetation, waste, green waste or rubbish, we urge all residents to in one of the following ways:

  • Private waste removal contractors
  • Waste mulching and chipping contractors
  • Home composting
  • Compost bins
  • Worm farms
  • Community groups and service clubs assisting the elderly and infirm.

If neighbours are burning off in their backyards and creating a nuisance, you can report this by completing the form online. A printable form is available on our forms page.