New York laws on open trash burning smoking burn barrel link to homepage

The NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) web site posts regulations 6 NYCRR Part 211, General Provisions: Air Pollution Prohibited and 6 NYCRR Part 215, Open Fires which apply to open trash burning. The provisions of Part 215 prohibit most types of open burning in most areas of the state. The major exception is in rural areas for many types of non-food preparation wastes. Part 211 is rather vague and has been difficult to enforce. Excerpts of these regulations applying to open trash burning:

§211.2 Air pollution prohibited. No person shall cause or allow emissions of air contaminants to the outdoor atmosphere of such quantity, characteristic or duration which are injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property, or which unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.


§215.2 Prohibitions. Except as permitted by section 215.3 of this Part, no person shall burn, cause, suffer, allow or permit the burning in an open fire:

(a) of garbage;

(d) for onsite disposal, of rubbish generated by residential activities in any city or village; or in any town with a total town population, including incorporated or unincorporated areas, of greater than 20,000;

§ 215.1 Definitions.

(a) Garbage. The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and serving of food.

(e) Rubbish. Solid or liquid waste material, including but not limited to, paper and paper products; rags; trees or leaves, needles, and branches therefrom; vines; lawn and garden debris; furniture; cans; crockery; plastics; cartons; chemicals; paint; grease; sludges; oils and other petroleum products; wood; sawdust, demolition materials; tires; and automobiles and other vehicles and parts, for junk, salvage or disposal. Rubbish shall not include garbage, incinerator residue, street sweepings, dead animals or offal.

Many individual towns and some counties also have their own local laws limiting or banning open trash burning. Several compilations of these laws exist. St. Lawrence County Planning Office, 2001, report to county Legislature on local open burning laws in NY is one that will be added to this web site.