Local Ordinances & Education

What Local Units of Government Can Do

Work to provide residents with convenient, affordable alternatives to backyard burning. Many areas are successfully changing this practice using some of the following methods:

Promote Alternatives to Backyard Burning

  • Establish and promote free or low-cost drop-off centers for residents who want to self-haul or recycle.
  • Create a burn barrel exchange program to provide disposal service discounts to participants while educating them regarding disposal alternatives.
  • Distribute information on public or commercial collection, recycling, and disposal services.

Educate Residents

  • Conduct outreach programs to change behavior, such as print or radio ads and brochures.

Regulate and Enforce

  • Establish and enforce effective regulations and ordinances
  • Train county police, fire marshals, and health and environmental inspectors on local ordinances and authorize them to issue fines, as well as educate residents

Model Ordinanaces

  • Local governments can use this Model Ordinanace for developing their own local ordinances on open burning.

Links to Local Government Ordinances

City of East Moline
Open Burning Policies

Ogle County Solid Waste
Information about Open Burning and the County's Policies

Kane County
Ordinance for Open Burning of Landscape Waste

Successful Burn Barrel Programs

Local Programs:
Case Studies of Sucessful Alternatives to Open Burning - Batelle, 2004

State/Provincial Governments:
Guide to Reducing Back Yard Burning and On-Site Disposal - Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, 1996