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Still Waters

Garden bonfire boom spreading deadly toxins

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Householders who burn their rubbish at home are now the main source of dioxin poisons in the environment, an inquiry has found.

Back-garden bonfires of domestic waste account for nearly a fifth of the cancer-causing dioxins that are pumped into the atmosphere and seep into the ground, it discovered.

The findings follow deepening concern about the spread of rubbish-burning by householders whose waste is no longer collected by binmen.

Burning and fly-tipping have become an alternative for many families facing fortnightly collections, compulsory recycling, and heavy fines for putting out too much rubbish or trying to get round restrictive wheelie bin rules.

The inquiry for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said ‘domestic burning of municipal solid waste’ is a greater producer of dioxin emissions than any industry, official incineration of domestic or medical waste, or the landfill sites where household rubbish has in the past been buried.

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