Remember, remember these facts for November
As residents across the district light bonfires, burn effigies of Guy Fawkes and enjoy fireworks displays for Bonfire Night, West Oxfordshire District Council is calling on residents to spare a thought for the environment this year and to make positive steps to a more eco-friendly affair.
Cllr Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for Environment, is urging residents to make sure what you burn is both legal and safe.
“We want people to enjoy Bonfire Night. However, I would like to remind residents that you should not burn household waste and that setting fire to treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment.
“It may be tempting to burn old bits of furniture, mattresses and household rubbish, but the toxic fumes given off can cause pollution and damage people’s health. You should even avoid stuffing the Guy with scraps of used foam or old clothing.”
We understand that you probably won’t want to abandon all the fun of Bonfire Night, but there are ways that you can reduce the impact of its effects on the environment. Here are some tips to make a difference:
- Always remember that you MUST soak fireworks in water for 24 hours before they can be placed in rubbish bins
- Attend community Bonfire Night displays rather than lighting your own bonfire. This will help to reduce the amount of bonfires being burnt around the country – and it’s safer
- If you do build your own bonfire, only use clean, dry garden waste to reduce the amount of smoke produced.
- Choose the site of the bonfire carefully. Make sure the fire or smoke from the fire will not affect any houses, buildings or roads, which could become a danger to public safety
- Do not burn any form of plastic on your bonfire because harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and dioxins will be released, which not only pollute the atmosphere but are harmful to your health too
- Make an effort to reduce any food waste you produce from parties over the festive period. Don’t forget to place any leftover party food in your food waste caddies or alternatively you can use it for compost at home
- Spare a thought for wildlife as hedgehogs, toads, frogs, lizards and snakes which may have nestled under the bonfire. Build your bonfire as close to the day as possible; as far away as possible from trees, bird boxes and bat boxes; and check for wildlife before lighting the fire