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McHenry County Department of Health
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Open burning restrictions

Environmentally sound alternatives available

Post Date:03/27/2019 10:37 AM

Contact Keri Zaleski
(815)-334-4456; cell (815)-236-3238

Woodstock IL - McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) reminds residents of the Public Health Ordinance restrictions regarding the open burning of landscape waste, which is in effect year round. Residents located within municipalities should check with their city or village regarding additional restrictions that may apply. Where there is not a ban or more restrictive ordinance, the County Ordinance must be followed. Open burning of landscape waste is limited to weekend days (Saturdays and Sundays) in April, May, October, and November from dawn to dusk. The burn area must be located a minimum of 100 feet from any habitable structure, and 50 feet from a detached garage, shed, barn, or any other non-habitable structure. No burning is permitted in easements or when the wind speed exceeds 10 mph. Adult supervision is required throughout the duration of the burning, and a water source or fire extinguisher must be available. Only landscape waste generated on the site may be burned. Burning any other materials, such as garbage, paper, cardboard, construction materials or animal waste is prohibited at all times.

MCDH encourages residents to consider alternatives to the open burning of landscape waste, such as mulching, native landscaping, composting, using landscape service companies, or dropping landscape waste off at a composting facility or landscape waste transfer station. Municipal solid waste haulers who provide regular residential waste pickup in McHenry County must offer landscape waste collection service. Residents should contact their municipal solid waste haulers with questions about their service.

Residents may contact the Department of Health or any local law enforcement agency, fire department or fire protection district with a complaint. Agencies who respond to open burning concerns are responsible for a variety of issues, and all responses are prioritized. An immediate response is not always possible. Complete information about the Public Health Ordinance, suggested alternatives, and bonfire permit applications are available on the MCDH website: or by calling the Division of Environmental Health at 815-334-4585.

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