Open burning of trash causes several serious problems:
- Open burning emits serious air pollutants that contribute to respiratory distress in at-risk individuals especially.
- Outdoor burning of all kinds is the most common cause of brush and forest fires.
- Burn barrels stink, literally and figuratively, even after the fire goes out.
- The resulting ash is toxic.
- Burning can be a source of disagreement and conflict among neighbors.
- People have been seriously injured or killed by accidents connected with burn barrels.
Most Burning is Illegal
Burning is now illegal under many circumstances. Be sure you are not doing something that is not permitted.
- Both the City of Altoona and Tyrone Borough completely forbid outdoor burning of any kind.
- Municipalities with curbside recycling and yard waste collection programs may not burn any recyclable material, leaves or other compostable yard waste.
- No business or industry is permitted to burn anywhere in Pennsylvania without a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
- Construction or Demolition Waste cannot be burned or buried on site.
- Burning of most petroleum based products (such as rubber or plastic) is illegal in almost all situations.
Even burning trash in your fireplace or wood burner may be illegal under some circumstances. At the very least, it is a seriously undesirable practice from an environmental standpoint.