BY assistant Prof Bruce Baer Arnold
FOLLOWING a number of complaints, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding Canberrans to mulch their leaves, not burn them, otherwise they might risk being fined.
EPA’s Narelle Sargent says with the Queen’s Birthday long weekend just around the corner, Canberrans thinking of having a bonfire should remember that the burning of waste is banned in residential areas with on the spot fines of up to $100 applying.
“There is no need to burn garden waste as it can be mulched at home, put in the new green waste bins (not domestic bins), or taken to garden waste recyclers at Corkhill’s at Mugga Lane, and Canberra Sand and Gravel at West Belconnen and Mitchell,” Mrs Sargent says.
“This way the leaves and garden waste can have a second purpose in enriching our environment rather than contributing to the smoke pollution which unfortunately can settle over our city in the colder months.
“Canberra’s overall air quality compared to other cities is generally good and it is important to our health and wellbeing that we keep it that way.”
With a number of Canberrans each year looking to mark the Queen’s Birthday with a bonfire, Mrs Sargent also wants to remind people of the rules and restrictions around bonfires in the ACT.
“Bonfires on residential land are only permitted during the period commencing on the weekend before, and ending on the weekend following, the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday,” she says
“ACT residents wanting to host a bonfire must also notify the ACT Fire and Rescue and the only fuel which should be used for bonfires is seasoned wood.
The community can report illegal burning to the EPA by contacting Access Canberra on 13 22 81.