The NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) web site posts
NYCRR Part 211, General Provisions: Air Pollution Prohibited and
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
§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.