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Environment Agency response to illegal burning of waste

by Jonathan Kearney

With Bonfire Night fast approaching, the Environment Agency anticipate an increase in illegal burning of waste.

It is illegal to burn most types of waste. Burning waste such as treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment.

Only dry paper, leaves, clean wood and cardboard should be burned for cultural events such as Bonfire Night, without a relevant environmental permit or exemption.

The types of incidents that need reporting to the Environment Agency include:

  • Burning of waste illegally (such as plastic, treated wood, rubber etc) from any industrial or commercial business
  • Burning of hazardous waste such as tyres, asbestos and plasterboard
  • Incidents involving other hazardous materials and substances
  • Fires and explosions at permitted and illegal waste sites
  • incidents of large scale waste deposits (several large tipper trucks of waste or more)
  • Pollution to a watercourse, this includes from fire water run off
  • Any fire which may constitute a significant risk to the environment or human health

If you see any illegal waste fires, report them to the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.


In the build up to the Halloween and bonfire period, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will be patrolling the borough to remove the build-up of combustible material that could be used for deliberate fires. You can report an unlit bonfire on their website.

In addition, Knowsley Council’s Street Scene Team will be on hand to remove incidents of fly tipping that could be used for anti-social fires. You can report fly tipping online here.

Report criminal and anti-social behaviour

In an emergency always call 999.

To report to Merseyside Police call 101, via the Merseyside Police website or by direct message on Facebook and X @MerPolCC

You can also anonymously tell Police about areas where you feel unsafe because of anti-social behaviour via ‘StreetSafe’.

Or report anonymously to:

Knowsley’s Crime and Communities Team by emailing Safer.Knowsley@knowsley.gov.uk

Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111