Limerick’s Environment and Emergency Services Directorate has issued an appeal in the run-up to Halloween, urging members of the public not to supply any waste material to persons who do not hold a valid waste collection permit.

Limerick City and County Fire and Rescue Services say that substantial costs were incurred last Hallow-een in responding to bonfire-related incidents as well as cleaning up after bonfires had taken place.

The uncontrolled burning of waste, particularly in bonfires, is illegal under the Air Pollution Act, 1987, and the Waste Management Act, 1996 (as amended). The burning of waste also releases toxic pollutants into the air which are known to be damaging to public health and the environment.

“Bonfires are an illegal, dangerous and costly tradition,” explained Ms Josephine Cotter Coughlan, Director of Services. She added: “Bonfires are often built close to houses and other property presenting risks to personal safety and property. Halloween is one the busiest times of the year for the fire services, and responding to bonfire call-outs creates a strain on existing resources. I would like people to be aware of the fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of high-ly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries or death.”

Meanwhile, the Fire Ser-vice is advising members of public not to buy, use or supply fireworks. Accor-ding to Michael Ryan, Limerick’s Chief Fire Officer: “Illegal fireworks may be manufactured without safety standards and can cause serious dam-age to users, particularly children. Parents should monitor their children and ensure they do not play with fireworks.  Throughout the country, every year children end up tragically injured and often scarred for life, after using illegal fireworks.

“In the period before and during Halloween, Limerick Local Authorities and the City and County Fire and Rescue Services will be assisted by An Garda Síochána to closely monitor the situation around Limerick,” Mr. Ryan added.

See tips for a safe Halloween on page 25.