Bonfire night burning waste warning

Firework fans are being urged to think twice before burning furniture on bonfire night or setting light to rubbish.


Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) is reminding residents not to spoil the party by wasting furniture that could have another life through a gift to charity or donation to a reuse group.

Dumping rubbish on a blaze also holds serious risks as burning rubber, foam or plastic causes pollution, while adding glass, cans and aerosols risks explosions.

It is warning that wooden furniture’s paints and preservatives could release harmful fumes, while very smoky or polluting fires can attract the attention of the police, fire service or local council.

If you are planning a bonfire and sure it will be safe and not create a nuisance or health risk, SWP says ideal materials to burn are dry garden waste and branches, as well as paper and card.

As with barbecues, if you plan to dispose of embers in your rubbish, ensure they are completely cool or fully damped down to avoid further fire risks in bins, vehicles or on landfill sites.

Fully spent fireworks should be left to soak in water before being disposed of in your rubbish or put in the general waste at a recycling site.

Misfired or partly-spent fireworks should be soaked in a container of water overnight, until completely sodden, and the manufacturer or supplier contacted for guidance on disposal.

For safety advice, search for bonfire at Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service’s site: or visit the Safer Fireworks site:

For options on furniture, see SWP’s website: