WOODSTOCK – The McHenry County Department of Health reminds residents that year-round burning restrictions are in effect regarding the disposal of landscape waste.
Landscape waste consists of grass, shrubbery cuttings, leaves and tree limbs.
The “McHenry County Public Health Ordinance: Open Burning of Landscape Waste” permits unincorporated residents to burn landscape waste on Saturdays and Sundays during April, May, October and November if the burn area meets the setback requirements of at least 100 feet from a school, business, church or house; and at least 50 feet from a barn, shed or detached garage.
Burning of any materials (e.g. cardboard, paper, plastics, construction materials) other than landscape waste generated on-site is prohibited at all times.
Most municipalities have ordinances that restrict or prohibit the burning of yard waste. In areas where there is not a ban or more restrictive ordinance, the county ordinance, which is in effect year-round, must be followed.
An Illinois EPA Bureau of Air Application for Open Burning Permit is required for habitat reclamation burns regardless of acreage. For information, call the Illinois EPA Bureau of Air Permit Section at 217-782-2113.
Licensed municipal waste haulers in McHenry County are required to provide pickup of landscape waste from residential customers. An additional fee may apply. Some waste haulers contract with municipalities, neighbors and homeowner associations to provide collection of landscape waste.
Residents also may drop off landscape waste at an approved compost facility or landscape waste transfer station. An additional fee may apply. A listing of these services is available at www.mcdh.info, under Environmental Health, quick link – Open Burning, “other alternatives.”
Communities with ordinances that meet or exceed county standards, as well as those with total bans on burning, are also listed. Call the McHenry County Department of Health at 815-334-4585 (after hours at 815-344-7421) or your local police or fire nonemergency number for enforcement of open burning issues. If reporting an emergency complaint that is life-threatening or is a fire safety issue, call 911.
For details about the county ordinance, suggested alternatives, exemptions and permit applications, visit www.mcdh.info or call 815-334-4585.