6 Tips: Do You Know What Shouldn’t be Burnt on Bonfire Night?

Remember, remember the 5th of November – but do you remember what you can and cannot burn on Guy Fawkes night?

We all love creating bonfires every year on 5th November, but when burning waste and materials, it’s crucial to know the effects it can have on the environment. For example, treated wood, rubber and plastics can cause pollution and harm our environment.

We’ve come up with 5 key points to remember when creating bonfires:

  • 1: Create your bonfire in a secure location.

Often, people will dump illegal waste on other people’s bonfires, therefore it’s important to prevent unauthorised access to your bonfire. Be aware of who’s wanted and who’s not.

  • 2: Know where your bonfire material has come from.

Make sure that you know where your bonfire has come from, and if anyone else is bringing materials make sure that they are aware as well.

  • 3: Know what materials you CAN and CAN’T burn.

Items you can’t burn include:

  • Treated wood,
  • Plastic,
  • Paint,
  • Foam,
  • Tyres and,
  • General household rubbish.


  • 4: Don’t build the bonfire any earlier than it needs to be built.

Animals may build homes within bonfires that are built early – as a result when you light your bonfire they are most likely be killed. You shouldn’t build bonfires any earlier than they need to be built to prevent this from happening. If you plan to use a pile of wood for your bonfire, check it thoroughly before use as Dormice hide and nest within these piles.

  • 5: Make yourself aware of the consequences for illegally managing waste.

By understanding the consequences of illegally managing waste you’ll realise how serious it really is. Offenders face a fine of up to £50,000! Stop notices that prevent events from happening can be issued by the Environment Agency if they suspect illegal waste is being burnt.

  • 6: Keep an eye out for any suspicious activities!

The gov.uk website has requested that “If anyone sees any suspicious activities they should contact us on 0800 807060 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.”

Suspicious activities can include people you don’t recognise adding to your bonfire and people looking in your bonfire.


Sources used: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/are-you-aware-of-what-youre-burning-this-guy-fawkes-night