In the run up to Halloween, Clare Local Authorities and Clare County Fire and Rescue Service are urging members of the public not to supply any waste material to persons who do not hold a valid waste collection permit.
Clare County Fire & Rescue Service says that substantial costs are incurred each Halloween in responding to bonfire-related incidents, as well as cleaning up after bonfires have taken place. In 2012, the Fire Service attended 10 bonfires at a cost of €11,826.
Meanwhile the Environment Section of Clare County Council has warned that uncontrolled burning of waste, particularly in bonfires, is illegal under the Air Pollution Act, 1987, and The Waste Management Act, 1996, as amended. It said the burning of waste also releases toxic pollutants into the air which are known to be damaging to public health and the environment.
Anne Haugh, Director of Services, Clare County Council stated: “I am appealing to the public to work with the staff of Clare Local Authorities and Clare Fire and Rescue Service during the forthcoming Halloween festivities and I wish to remind the public that there are significant risks arising from bonfires, including the illegal nature of the activity, the adverse effects on the local community and the negative impact on the general environment.”
“Bonfires are an illegal, dangerous and costly tradition,” explained Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer.
He added: Bonfires are often built close to houses and other property presenting risks to personal safety and property. Halloween is one the busiest times of the year for the fire services and responding to bonfire call outs creates a strain on existing resources. I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death.”
Meanwhile, the Fire Service is advising members of public not to buy, use or supply fireworks.
Mr. Kelly noted that illegal fireworks may be manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious damage to users, particularly children. He continued: “Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks. Throughout the country, every year children end up tragically injured and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks.”
“In the period before and during Halloween, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service will be assisted by An Garda Síochána to closely monitor the situation around the County,” Mr. Kelly concluded.
Tips for a safe Halloween 2013:
• If you see material such as pallets, tyres, old furniture or other combustible materials or waste being hoarded in advance of Halloween please contact Clare County Council’s waste enforcement section on 065-6846331 or via the free phone waste and litter hotline on 1800 606 706 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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.
• Parents, business and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires.
• Do not facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property.
• Contact the Fire Brigade by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.
Under the Waste Management (Collection Permit) Regulations, 2007-2008, all persons engaged in waste collection must hold a valid waste collection permit. Any person wishing to confirm the legitimacy of a waste collector should ask the collector for their waste collection permit number and proceed to check it online on their Local Authority website, or, alternatively, contact the National Waste Collection Permit Office at www.nwcpo.ie. Be aware that it is a criminal offence to give your waste to any individual who does not hold a current and valid waste collection permit.