Bonfires and other smoke

Dundee City Council is made up of a network of 21 Smoke Control Areas, however this does not mean that bonfires are banned in Dundee. The term 'Smoke Control Area' relates to the emission of smoke from the chimney of a building only. There are also no Local Laws in Dundee that prevent bonfires from certain times of the day or week. Whilst not illegal to have a garden bonfire, an inconsiderately burnt and smoky garden bonfire may well cause a statutory nuisance in regards to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Burning waste can prevent people from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging out washing. The smoke and fumes created also affect air quality and can be damaging to health in the longer term.

If you are bothered by smoke, you may wish to approach your neighbour first and try to resolve the problem amicably – they may not be aware that their actions are causing you concern. If this fails, contact Neighbourhood Services on the details provided below and they will investigate and take appropriate action. You can also report smoke complaints by completing the online report form.

There are alternatives to burning your garden waste and the Council recommends wherever possible that garden waste is taken to one of our Recycling Centres for composting and recycling. Alternatively, the Council offers a kerbside garden waste (brown) bin collection service. Further details on brown bins and how to order a brown bin can be found on the Brown Bin Garden Waste Collection pages of our website.

If you are to have a bonfire, be considerate and speak to your neighbours. If you warn them you are going to have a bonfire they are less likely to be annoyed - particularly if you give them a chance to bring their washing in and close their windows. Having a bonfire on a still summer’s day can be a problem as the smoke tends to linger. This is also the time your neighbours want to be outside enjoying their own gardens. Similarly, if the wind would blow smoke directly into your neighbour's house and garden, this is not a good day to light your bonfire.

Important: Never leave a fire unattended. If you must leave it, douse the fire with water and make sure it is out before you leave.

Smoke from bonfires on non-domestic properties, such as scrap yards and construction / demolition sites, are generally controlled by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.


Tel: 01382 433710