Burning and Dumping

If you have questions about a waste material, please contact the Solid Waste District. We can help you dispose of it legally and safely. If it is not a material we can accept, we can help you find an alternative resource. 


Trash Burning

Trash Burning is Illegal Everywhere in Indiana.

Never burn trash. Trash is toxic. Burning plastics releases dioxin, a known carcinogen. Even burning paper and leaves releases carbon dioxide and particulates, which contribute to smog and higher rates of asthma and emphysema. Toxic substances remain in the air and soil and can infiltrate food and water sources consumed by animals and humans.


Before you burn, contact your local law enforcement office to find out local ordinances. 

Legal Burning of Yard Waste

    • Only clean wood products may be burned.
    • Burning must be done during safe weather conditions, not during high winds, prolonged dry periods or on pollution alert days.
    • Fires must be attended until completely extinguished.
    • Burning must be done during daylight hours.
    • Material may be burned only in a noncombustible and ventilated container, such as a metal drum with enclosed sides and bottom. Burning in or on the ground is illegal.
    • Open burning is not allowed at mobile home parks, apartment complexes or buildings of more than four dwelling units.
    • Fires must be extinguished if they create a hazard, nuisance, pollution problem or threat to public health.
    • Firefighting equipment adequate for the size of the fire must be nearby.
    • Burning must comply with all other federal, state and local laws, rules and ordinances.

What kind of open burning does the state allow?

    • Burning of vegetation for wildlife habitat maintenance, forest and natural area management and fire fighting or prevention.
    • Recreational or ceremonial fires, such as barbecues, campfires and fires for scouting activities.
    • Burning of vegetation from a farm, an orchard, nursery, cemetery, tree farm or a drainage ditch.

Open Dumping

Open dumping is the improper and illegal disposal of regulated solid waste at an unpermitted solid waste site. According to Indiana Regulation 329 IAC 10-4-2, “No person shall cause or allow the storage, containment, processing, or disposal of solid waste in a manner which creates a threat to human health or the environment, including the creating of a fire hazard, vector attraction, air or water pollution, or other contamination.”

Regulated solid waste can only be discarded at a state permitted solid waste land disposal facility, state permitted transfer station, state permitted incinerator, or recycling facility.


Prohibited Wastes

• Household building debris
• Construction and demolition waste
• Household garbage
• Appliances
• Furniture
• Tires
• Plastic
• Cardboard
• Hazardous waste

Additional prohibited wastes can be found in 329 IAC 10-2.5.1 (b) – (64). If you are dumping or burning these materials, you are breaking the law. State law provides that you can be fined up to $25,000.00 per day per violation, not including fines or penalties that local or federal agencies may assess against you.

Wastes That Don’t Require Permitted Disposal

The following solid waste items are commonly excluded from solid waste regulation and not therefore required to be disposed of in a permitted disposal site. However, contact your municipality or county highway facility to find out local sites for clean placement of these materials:

• Uncontaminated rocks, bricks, concrete, road demolition waste materials, or dirt
• Uncontaminated and untreated natural growth solid waste including tree limbs, stumps, leaves, and grass clippings.
• Saw dust, which is derived from processing untreated natural wood.

See 329 IAC 10-3-1 for additional information on solid waste activities excluded from regulation.