In the spring, many Islanders start cleaning up their properties. Leaves are raked, and sticks and branches are gathered. Some homeowners dispose of yard waste by burning it on their property. However, this practice can be dangerous. It can cause property and forest fires, jeopardize public health and safety, and threaten the environment.
Open burning contributes to air pollution. These fires do not get hot enough to completely burn yard waste. Instead, they smoulder and smoke, releasing fine particles and other harmful pollutants into the air. Exposure to this smoke can be dangerous to human health. It can irritate the nose, throat, and skin and cause various breathing problems. People with serious breathing problems, like asthma, are especially at risk.
Burning garbage is illegal in Prince Edward Island. You can be charged and fined for burning plastic, rubber, treated wood, or household garbage. When burned, these products release toxic chemicals that are dangerous to you and your neighbours.
There are better and safer ways to properly dispose of yard waste. PEI's Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC) collects organic waste year round from Island residents. Yard waste can be added to your green cart and collected every other week. In the spring, and again in the fall, larger amounts of yard waste are collected curb-side. Yard waste can also be composted.