Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Burning construction and demolition waste

Burning construction and demolition waste, pallets on fireBurning construction and demolition waste

What you must do

If you burn waste in the open on your site you may require a waste management licence or exemption.

You may qualify for an exemption to burn certain waste plant tissue and untreated wood if:

  • you burn the waste at the place where it was produced
  • you burn up to 10 tonnes in a 24-hour period.

The exemption you may require is a paragraph 30 exemption.

If you have an exemption, you must comply with its conditions.

You must register this exemption with your environmental regulator.

You must still ensure that your activity does not:

  • endanger human health or cause pollution to water, air or soil
  • constitute a risk to plants or animals 
  • cause a nuisance in terms of noise, dust, fumes, smoke and odour 
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

NIEA: Paragraph 30 - Burning waste on land in the open

SEPA: Waste management licensing exemptions

Waste management licences

If you are disposing of waste by burning it in an incinerator or other similar plant, you will need a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit.

Pollution prevention and control permits

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has produced detailed guidance for the construction sector. This is free to download.

CECA: Waste classification and permitting in construction

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.



  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

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  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects


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