Bonfires or other activities that cause smoke are not illegal, but they must not cause a statutory smoke nuisance to neighbouring residents.
If complaints are received about regular bonfires or excessive smoke from an address, then we can investigate, and take legal action where needed.
Additionally, under the Clean Air Act 1993 it is an offence to burn any waste that gives rise to dark smoke. Each offence that is witnessed by an officer can carry a fine of up to £20,000.
For information on disposing of waste and recycling please visit our waste and recycling page.
While we can investigate commercial companies for statutory smoke nuisance, the burning of commercial waste is also regulated by the Environment Agency under the Waste Management Licencing Regulations 1994. The Environment Agency ask that reports be sent to them via Crimestoppers.
If you are concerned that a bonfire is out of control, please contact West Sussex Fire and Rescue.
Under the Highways Act 1980, it is illegal to allow smoke to endanger the driving visibility of a highway. If this happens, please contact Sussex Police.
Please read our bonfire information leaflet for further information and advice on bonfires including composting and recycling.