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Dangers of Burning Plastic and Rubber

Can I burn plastic or rubber in my stove or in my backyard?

No.  It is against the law to burn any items that contain rubber or plastic.  This includes household items (bottles and jugs), construction material (vinyl siding, wire insulated with plastic) and agricultural waste (silage wrap).  Recycling options are available for many of these products. 

Why is burning plastic and rubber against the law?

Burning plastic or rubber can be dangerous to you, your neighbours, and the environment.  Old barrels or wood stoves do not reach high enough temperatures to destroy many of the dangerous chemicals created when plastic burns.  These include dioxins and furans.  Studies have linked dioxins and furans to cancer and respiratory disease.  

As well, the ash produced from burning material that contains plastic and rubber could be hazardous.  This cannot be spread on the soil or dumped in your waste bin. 

What's the difference between burning at home or at an incinerator?

Municipal solid waste incinerators, like the double chambered incinerators at the Energy from Waste Plant (in Charlottetown), can reach a temperature of 1,800 °F (982 °C).  This is hot enough to destroy dangerous chemicals created when plastic burns.  As a result they are allowed to burn plastic and rubber material, but only with a valid air quality permit. 

Acts and Regulations


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