Sussex County Delaware

Reminder: No Leaf
Burning in Delaware


DNREC Officers Patrolling
for Violators of State Law

With leaves falling to the ground, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds residents that state law prohibits the burning of leaves anywhere in the state.

In addition, under the state's open burning regulations, the burning of refuse such as old lumber, garbage, grass and tree stumps is also illegal.

Major William Hill, the chief of DNREC's Enforcement Section, said Environmental Protection Officers will be patrolling for violators and citing those performing illegal burning operations.

If convicted, penalties in Magistrate Court range will range from $50 to $500 plus a criminal record.

According to DNREC, public health concerns were behind the ban. DNREC claims open burning produces smoke that emits toxic chemicals into the air, aids in the formation of smog, triggers asthma attacks, and contributes to acid rain that kills fish and plants and causes property damage.

DNREC says that instead of burning, residents should recycle glass, plastics, aluminum, used motor oil and other recycleable materials at recycling igloos, taking non-recycleable trash to a licensed landfill, and composting leaves, yard trimmings and certain food scraps.

For more information on composting, call the Delaware Composting Association at 302-422-4544.

To report open burning violations, call the 24-hour citizen complaint line at 1-800-662-8802. Cell phone users can call #DNR toll-free.

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