Arkansas State Air Pollution Control Regulations Section 18.6 (b) prohibits the open burning of waste materials. Specifically, it states that: “No person shall cause or permit the open burning of refuse, garbage, trade waste, or other waste material, or shall conduct a salvage operation by open burning.”
Household trash, tires, construction and demolition waste (including lumber and/or wood), etc. are considered waste materials and cannot be burned according to State Law.
Many residents of Benton County continue to burn prohibited items – including household trash! This is a habit passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, the composition of household trash today has drastically changed from that of our grandparents’ (or even our parents’) time. Environmental Division works to educate residents about the ban on open burning in order to reduce the environmental and health risks associated with open burning. If you know of someone who is burning household trash or other prohibited items, please let us know. You can call our office at (479) 271-1083 or you can email the information to us using the Complaint Form. We will contact the person responsible and provide them with information on the laws and risks.
Potential Health Risks
Smoke from the outdoor burning of common household and farm materials pollutes the air and can cause serious health problems for the residents of Benton County. Similar to cigarette smoke, the inhalation of smoke from burning brush, grass, leaves and trash can cause asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Most at risk due to poor air quality are children, the elderly and those with breathing problems. Since smoke particles fall into the ground, burning also pollutes our water and soil.
Backyard fires can and will destroy property. The number one way people are responsible for causing wildfires is when outdoor burning grows out-of-control. You may be held responsible for the cost of stopping an out-of-control fire and the damage it causes.