HomeHome MaintenanceBurning Trash & Yard Waste


State regulations allow individual households to burn small amounts of dry, household rubbish (which includes only unrecyclable paper and cardboard, natural fibers, clean, untreated wood and similar materials) and small amounts of dry leaves and plant clippings, unless prohibited by local ordinance. This allowance does not apply to commercial and government entities.

Burning household rubbish and yard waste is allowed when both of the following are met:

the rubbish and yard waste was created by normal household activities; and
the rubbish and yard waste is burned on the individual household’s property (not transported to another property and burned).
Demolition and in-home business operations, including farm and landscaping operations, are not considered normal household activities.

Keep in mind that breathing the smoke from debris burning is not healthy for you or your neighbors. Burning rubbish and yard waste is discouraged because of the air pollution it causes and because of the benefits of alternative disposal options. When burning approved materials, follow DNR’s safety tips to reduce the risk of wildfire.

Prohibited materials
The DNR’s air quality and waste management rules prohibit burning any of the following materials under any condition:
furniture and mattresses;
oily substances, such as oily or greasy rags and oil filters;
wood that has been painted, treated, laminated or glued;
plastics of any kind, including bottles, bags, film and agricultural plastics;
shingles and tar paper;
tires and other rubber products;
vinyl siding;
construction and demolition materials; and
barn boards with any paint remnants or whitewash.

Burning garbage is prohibited.

Garbage has changed. Today’s garbage contains plastics, dyes and other chemicals that release hazardous toxins when burned. Many of these materials were not around several decades ago.

Burning garbage can release pollutants that can cause many health problems, especially for populations that are sensitive to smoke and air pollution, including children, older adults and anyone with asthma or trouble breathing.

There are many alternatives to burning garbage, including recycling, composting, disposing of garbage in a landfill and donating or re purposing items.

www.dnr.wi.gov for more information!

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