If you are using a barbecue, pizza oven or outdoor fireplace for cooking purposes only, the restrictions on smoke emissions
DON’T apply. However, if your cooking produces excessive smoke, you may be in breach of the ‘environmental nuisance’ provision in section 53 of EMPCA.
If you burn garden or other waste in a barbecue or outdoor fireplace, the restrictions
DO apply - see subregulation 7(2).
In other words, you should keep your cooking and waste-burning activities completely separate to avoid committing an offence.
What am I not allowed to burn in my wood heater or fireplace?
Regulation 8 makes it an offence to burn 'prohibited waste', unless authorised (e.g. by an emergency authorisation under section 34 of EMPCA).
Included on the list of prohibited waste are the following materials - asbestos, tyres, coated wire, paint & chemical containers and residues, rubber, painted & treated wood (as defined in regulation 3), plastic, oil, household waste, linen, foam rubber and polystyrene.
You must not burn any of these materials for heating or cooking.
What can I burn in my wood heater or fireplace?
You can burn the following solid fuel (as defined in regulation 3): unpainted / untreated / uncontaminated wood, dry vegetative waste, pellet fuel, briquettes, paper, coal, charcoal and peat.
Can I burn cardboard?
Cardboard is a valuable resource and should be disposed of through kerbside recycling or by taking it to a recycling facility. Cardboard can also be used to suppress garden weeds, particularly when placed under a layer of mulch.
What are the rules for backyard burning of vegetation?
These rules are summarized and explained on the
Backyard Burning page.
How much can I be fined if I breach the Regulations?
A council officer can issue an infringement notice, or you may be prosecuted. It is expected that court action will be taken only if other approaches consistently fail.
An infringement notice for offences related to wood heater standards and burning prohibited waste applies an on-the-spot fine of 5 penalty units* ($860 in 2020/21). The maximum court penalty for these offences is 50 penalty units* ($8600 in 2020/21).
An infringement notice for offences related to smoke emissions applies an on-the-spot fine of 2 penalty units ($344 in 2020/21). The maximum court penalty for these offences is 10 penalty units ($1720 in 2020/21).
Note: penalty unit value is adjusted every year based on the CPI.
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