South Ribble Borough Council are urging their residents not to burn their household or garden waste during the covid-19 crisis and to not resort to fly tipping.
Both activities cause detrimental effects to the environment and can put undue strain on already busy essential workers.
The council has received an increase in complaints about both issues over the last couple of weeks.
The burning of waste, including garden waste releases harmful particles into the atmosphere which can cause serious breathing problems to vulnerable people, such as those who are asthmatic and place further pressure on the already stretched resources of the NHS.
In addition, the smoke from bonfires may result in a nuisance to neighbours.
Group Manager Cookson, Community Protection Manager for Southern Area at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We’re experiencing an increase in the number of rubbish fires we are being called to across the county. This is particularly dangerous amid an extended period of warm, dry weather when the risk of wildfires in increased.
“Please don’t be tempted to burn household rubbish or garden waste – fires can easily get out of control and spread to buildings, causing damage and potentially injury, and tie up firefighters who might be needed elsewhere.”
He added: “Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, like all public services, is working hard to ensure we’re able to support the people of Lancashire, respond to emergencies and keep communities safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Nuisance fires are frustrating to experience at any time but especially so now.
“Help us by composting what you can and holding on to any extra waste until you’re able to dispose of it properly.”
The council’s waste teams are currently seeing a 50% increase in fly-tipping which is amounting to around 25-30 occurrences per week.
Councillor Susan Jones, Cabinet Member for Environment said, “In any situation fly tipping is unacceptable and even more so during the covid-19 efforts.
“Our waste teams are working around the clock doing all they can to ensure the borough’s bin collections continue to take place, and this is something they do not need right now.
“We understand the situation is not easy and with the decision to close the public tips, it is likely people will be having waste piling up between bin collections.
“We ask you to be patient. All the council’s bin services are running normally, including our garden waste collection scheme.
“It’s not ideal, but please store your waste safely until it is able to be collected by us. Do not burn your waste or fly-tip. We all have to make sacrifices.
“If you are causing smoke nuisance you could be liable for fine of up to £100 and the penalty for fly-tipping can be up to £400 per offence, and if taken to the Magistrates Court can lead to a penalty of up to £50,000 and or 12 months in prison.”
All the Council’s bin collection services are running as normal. The Garden Waste collection scheme is also running as normal and residents can sign up for an annual £25. Renew or sign up at www.southribble.gov.uk/gardenwaste.
Please visit www.southribble.gov.uk/waste for bin collection dates and how to sign up for garden waste collection.