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Burning Trash in Your Campfire

Greg Drake II, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources

Whether you’re packing up your tent and sleeping bags for a weekend camping trip or simply planning an evening around a backyard fire pit, remember that garbage should never be burned in a campfire or fire pit. Burning trash, even in small quantities, can release toxic pollutants, many of which have been linked to increased risk of cancer and other dangerous health problems. These pollutants can be inhaled and even ingested when contaminants fall and settle on food or drinks. Burning trash is not only harmful to our health and our environment’s health, but it is also illegal. Kentucky has an open burning regulation that prohibits burning plastics, Styrofoam, fabric, metal, and slick-coated paper products.

Before you light your next campfire, remember to only burn seasoned, dry wood. Never burn plywood or wood that has been treated, stained, or painted. Dispose of all trash properly, and recycle whenever possible.

For more information on open burning call 888-BURN-LAW, contact your local Solid Waste Coordinator or contact the Butler County Extension Office at 112 E GL Smith Street, Morgantown, or call 270-526-3767.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

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