A Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division

Outreach and Alternatives to Burning

Open Burning Home
Official Rule (391-3-1-.02(5))
Press Release (April 27, 2017)

To obtain a burn permit: 1-877-OK2-BURN or http://www.gatrees.org/OnlinePermits/
Georgia EPD District Office Locations and Contact Information

Why do we have rules that apply to burning?

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is reminding citizens that these rules are in place for a reason – and the reason is health.

Besides the obvious effects of smoke on the human body such as watery eyes, smoke from fires contains chemicals and pollutants that negatively impact a person’s health. Burning yard waste releases nitrogen oxides and particle pollution into the air. Both pollutants contribute to lung and heart disease. Particle pollution is made up of extremely small particles that can increase the risk of a heart attack. In the heat of summer, nitrogen oxides combine with fumes from fuels, paints and vegetation to form ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone can cause inflammation to the lungs. Burning household garbage, which is banned year-round in Georgia, releases even more dangerous pollution.

Learn more about air pollution and burning by downloading the following brochures:

Alternatives to Burning

Some alternatives to burning are:

Yard trimmings (leaves, brush, grass clippings, shrub and tree prunings, vegetative residuals, etc.)

  • Composting, mulching, chipping, natural decomposition, etc. are recommended alternatives. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) brochure, “Composting at Home in Georgia” tells you more about composting yard trimmings.

  • Many municipal landfills and convenience centers accept yard trimmings from residents and process them into compost and mulch. Contact your local solid waste department to learn about local yard trimming recycling options or go to Earth911 to find local information for yard trimming management and other recycling options.

  • For more information on yard trimmings management, contact the Department of Community Affairs, Office of Environmental Management at (404) 679-4940.

Land clearing debris (trees, stumps, limbs, etc.)

  • Chip, shred, or grind the debris on site and reuse as mulch, erosion control, or walk paths.

  • Several companies in Georgia offer mobile, on-site grinding services. These grinding services can be found in your local yellow pages, or in the DCA Recycling Markets Directory.

  • Haul the debris to a commercial or municipal processing/grinding/composting operation. These services can be found in your local yellow pages or online.

  • Haul the debris to a permit-by-rule inert waste landfill. A list of current inert landfills can be found on the Land Protection Branch Solid Waste Management Program website. Open the excel file titled "Solid Waste Inert Disposal Facilities."

  • Haul the debris to a permitted construction and demolition (C&D) landfill. The C&D landfills can be found in your local yellow pages. Current permitted C&D landfills can also be found on the Land Protection Branch Solid Waste Management Program website. Open the excel file titled "Solid Waste Disposal Facilities."

For more information about the Open Burning Ban, contact the EPD’s Air Protection Branch at (404) 363-7000 or the appropriate EPD District office for a specific county. Questions about options for handling the solid waste can be directed to the EPD’s Land Protection Branch at (404) 362-2537.

Other helpful websites:

Composting

Yard Trimmings