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Bonfire warning issued by Donegal County Council

The community is urged to remember that bonfires can cause serious damage and injuries both to the environment and to health, Glenties Municipal District has heard.

In the lead up to Halloween, Donegal County Council is asking local communities not to provide materials for bonfires.

People should be aware that bonfires can also very often be built close to houses and other property and can cause serious damage and injuries particularly where the burning of highly combustible materials is taking place.

Suzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer with Donegal County Council said: “While traditionally wood and straw were used on bonfires in recent times materials such as tyres, mattresses, furniture, plastics, metal…are burned on bonfires. This type of activity is illegal. It is also an offence to supply waste materials to parties collecting for ‘Bonfire Night’. The burning of waste such as rubber, aerosols, plastics, foam, mattresses, couches and household waste material in bonfires is very damaging to our health and environment. When waste materials are burned on a bonfire harmful dioxins are created and released into the air that we breathe.”

Donegal County Council is currently monitoring a number of locations were waste materials have been supplied as bonfire material over the past number of years and we are undertaking an audit of certain businesses to ensure that there is
compliance under the relevant legislation and to ensure that waste materials are not supplied for burning on bonfires.

Tips for a safe Haloween:
•Parents, businesses and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires
• Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for use in a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous if set on fire
•Explain the dangers of illegal bonfires to children and teenagers
• Keep pets indoors on bonfire night – they are sensitive to noise
• Respect the work of the emergency services, council staff and gardaí
• Contact the Fire Service by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking

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