Before You Burn

Open burning is the burning of materials or debris by which smoke and emissions are released directly into the air, rather than through a chimney and/or the combustion of solid waste is not adequately controlled.

Historically in rural areas, the burning of trash and yard waste has been a common practice to manage these materials. However, s
tate law does not allow the open burning of household trash that contains plastic, rubber, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals or hazardous materials. Additionally, commercial and construction waste, pressure-treated lumber, structures slated for demolition, unwanted furniture, old appliances and scrap tires are not allowed to be openly burned in Michigan.

Open burning pollutes the air and nearby soil and water, aggravates respiratory health conditions, and releases extremely toxic chemicals (such as arsenic) directly into the environment. Repeated burning results in future exposures for wildlife, potentially increased cancer risk in humans and health and safety risks to neighbors within a few hundred feet of an open burn.

The burning of trees, logs, brush, and stumps may be allowed by first obtaining a burn permit. Many permits simply require a short phone call with a DNR or local municipality representative. Visit Permission to Burn for more information.

Learn more about open burning and alternatives to burning here