The campaign comes as burning as figures released for the first half of 2010 show a 460% increase in the number of forest, bog and gorse fires attended by the fire service.

The mayor of Clare, councillor Christy Curtin, said: “The burning of waste (or backyard burning) threatens life, property and our environment.

“It is often mistakenly seen as a cheap method of managing waste and it is presumed not to be harmful to the environment, but nothing could be further from the truth”.

“The purpose of all the environmental legislation is to protect and prevent damage to our environment.”

The council has outlined guidance on its website. It highlights points covering the legal disposal of waste for the public and landowners.

It emphasises that is illegal to burn household or commercial/industrial waste, household green waste (e.g. hedging), electric cables for the recovery of copper, or to burn waste in bonfires.

Clare County Council, waste enforcement officer, Robert Burns, said: “A tremendous amount of work has been done to reduce the incidences of illegal burning, and the message is definitely getting through.

“Clare County Council has already taken successful prosecutions against offenders for illegal burning, and this should act as a clear warning for anyone who still mistakenly thinks it is acceptable to burn waste illegally.”

The three-page guidance sheet on burning is available on the council website.

Alison Brown

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