Alternatives to Garden Bonfires


Information about Composting and Recycling, instead of having a Garden Bonfire.


Rather than burning garden waste or putting food waste in the dustbin where it will end up buried or incinerated, a compost bin will produce useful soil conditioner, saving money on commercial products. Some local authorities collect this waste. Woody waste can be shredded to make it suitable for composting or mulching. You can buy or hire shredders, and some allotment societies have their own. If using a shredder be considerate – they are very noisy so don't swap one nuisance for another!

Advice on composting is available from Bassetlaw District Council and from gardening organisations. The following provide information leaflets on composting, for which there may be a small charge:-

  • Address: Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ
  • Telephone: 01654 705989
  • Website:


Household waste should certainly not be burnt. Many items can be reused or recycled and your local council will have recycling facilities. Some local authorities provide bins for you to separate your waste and collect garden waste, others may charge for a service or you can take it to the local amenity site.

Burning old furniture can cause particular hazards, as some materials can release toxic fumes when burnt. If furniture is in reasonable condition there are many charitable or council services that collect and re-use unwanted items; many local authorities also offer a bulky waste collection service for old furniture.

Your unwanted goods may also be of value to other people and can be donated to charity shops, or even make you money through sale in classified adverts, car boot sales or services such as eBay.