HALLOWEEN is fast approaching and households all across the city and county are preparing for a night of ghouls and goblins; witches and wizards; glowing lanterns; trick or treating and fancy dress.
But something far more sinister has been slowly creeping into the time old tradition of lighting bonfires to celebrate Hallowe’en. Limerick City and County Council is reminding Limerick people that Hallowe’en is not an opportunity to dispose of waste illegally.
The Council has advised householders and businesses not to supply waste material to groups collecting for Hallowe’en, with a reminder that it is illegal, unhealthy and unsafe.
Providing household waste material for burning in a Hallowe’en bonfire is a criminal offence, say the Council as they quoted the Waste Management Act, and how bonfires are illegal under the Air Pollution Act, 1987.
Lighting bonfires, referred to as ‘Backyard Burning’, is also harmful to the environment as burning waste material contributes to dioxin emissions in Ireland, they said.
Tyres in particular are frequently burnt at Halloween even though they produce toxic fumes, releasing dioxins into the air damaging our health and the environment.
So do the right thing they say, and don’t use this festive time to dispose of waste illegally.
Here are some tips to having a green and safe Hallowe’en:
-Parents, business and householders – Do not provide any materials for bonfires.
-If you see material such as pallets, tyres and old furniture being hoarded in advance of Hallowe’en, contact Limerick City and County Council’s Customer Services on 061 556000.
-Keep your pets indoors. You never know what might happen in such strange events for your pet.
-Do not leave dangerous substances lying around that may be taken for a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are dangerous and toxic if set on fire.
-Don’t facilitate illegal bonfires or firework displays on or near your home or property. Explain the dangers of illegal fireworks and bonfires to children and teenagers.
-In case of emergency contact the Fire Service or Limerick City and County Council’s Customer Services on 061 556000, if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas
-Stay a safe distance from bonfires and fireworks – wind can carry sparks long distances and cause permanent injuries and scars.
-Remember it can be a dangerous night; children should not be out unaccompanied. Stay with your children and escort them while ‘trick or treating’, and to parties and events.
-Respect the emergency services, council staff and the gardaí in doing their jobs on a hectic night in the calendar.