Melton Borough Council

Smoke from bonfires

Domestic bonfires and smoky BBQs can be very irritating to the occupiers of surrounding premises. The smoke and smell can prevent hanging out washing, opening windows and the use of outdoor areas by others. 

The burning of trade or commercial waste is illegal.


Make a bonfire nuisance complaint

Bonfire advice



  • Let your nearest neighbours know before you light your bonfire
  • Burn material in small amounts
  • Consider using an incinerator rather than an open bonfire
  • Choose the location of your bonfire carefully and have a spade, fork or hose pipe ready in case you need to extinguish the bonfire quickly
  • Be aware that other residents may also have regular bonfires. Although you may only have one a month, if each resident did this, it could result in a bonfire every day, which could be unreasonable. Therefore it’s important to communicate with your neighbours
  • Use alternative methods, please make full use of the recycling facility provided in accordance with the council’s refuse collection service, compost garden waste whenever you can and use local waste recycling centres provided by the Leicestershire County Council, these are located at Bottesford, Somerby and Lake Terrace on Leicester Road, Melton Mowbray.
  • Only have a bonfire as a last resort; reuse, recycle, and then dispose of safely.


    • DO NOT burn damp grass cuttings or other damp garden waste as this will produce thick smoke.
    • DO NOT burn oily rags, rubber, plastics, foam, car tyres etc as these will give rise to black toxic smoke and you risk being prosecuted  
    • DO NOT light a bonfire when neighbours have hung out their washing or are enjoying their gardens. Be considerate.
    • DO NOT light a bonfire if the wind is blowing in the direction of your nearest neighbour. Only light a bonfire if the wind is blowing away from your neighbours.
    • DO NOT leave a bonfire unattended. Never leave a bonfire once it is alight.
    • DO NOT allow your bonfire to smoulder for long periods of time, especially overnight. Ensure that you rake over the ashes to ensure the bonfire is extinguished.