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Can I Burn This? New York Laws on Open Burning

Burning Wood
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As the saying goes “back in my day,” most kids had the chore of burning the trash.  Today, not so much.  In fact, in today’s world burning trash is illegal.  But what about in rural areas and for that matter; camp fires and bonfires? Mary Wrege with Cornell Cooperative Extension has the answers.

Burning is punishable by law and can lead to fines starting at $375, so be sure you know the law. New open burning regulations now prohibit burning across the State with only a few exceptions. Burning trash (even in a burn barrel) is now illegal in all areas of the State, including rural areas. The State has also restricted the burning of leaves, instead encouraging composting.

Farmers are now no longer allowed to burn agricultural plastics, instead requiring landfill disposal. Some local governments also have their own laws that restrict burning so be sure to check with your local officials for any laws that may affect you and your neighborhood. Working with Schuyler County’s CCE, Mary researched some of the common misconceptions surrounding this new regulation the following table is a partial listing of common activities that may concern local residents.
What Can I Burn
SOURCE:Cornell Cooperative Extension

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