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Air Quality Program

Man composting

Alternatives to burning

"Be the Difference - Breathe the Difference"

Smoke from outdoor burning can be just as bad for your health as cigarette smoke. Protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors by choosing not to burn.

You can be the difference in keeping our air clean and healthy. You can breathe the difference.


What can you do instead of burning yard waste?

Washington State Alternatives to Burning:
CLICK ON A COUNTY Wahkiakum County Whatcom County Skagit County Snohomish County San Juan County Clallam County Jefferson County Kitsap County Grays Harbor County Pacific County Lewis County Thurston County Pierce County King County Okanogan County Chelan County Douglas County Grant County Kittitas County Benton County Yakima County Klickitat County Skamania County Clark County Cowlitz County Garfield _County Columbia County WallaWalla County Franklin County Adams County Whitman County Spokane County Lincoln County Pend Oreille County Stevens County Ferry County Mason County Island County Asotin County

If you live in an urban growth area and can't burn your yard waste — or if you choose not to burn for health reasons — there are plenty of other ways to dispose of yard waste, including:

  • Chipping
  • Composting
  • Curbside pickup
  • Community-wide or neighborhood cleanup days
  • Taking your yard waste to a landfill (many landfills in Washington have reduced fees or special fees for yard waste)

Click your county on the map (right) to find locations that collect yard waste.


Why is outdoor burning a problem?

Young person breathing smoke from an outdoor fireSmoke from outdoor burning pollutes the air, causing serious health problems.  Much like cigarette smoke, the smoke from burning leaves, grass, brush, and tree needles can cause asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and lung cancer.  Children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems are most harmed by poor air quality.

Burning also pollutes our water and soil.  Smoke particles fall into our water and on our soil.

Backyard fires that get out of control set off most of the wildfires caused by people. You can be held responsible for the cost of putting out your out-of-control fire, which can be very expensive.


Learn More


What and when it's legal to burn (pdf documents)

En Español

Smoke-free yard care

Local information

Burn barrels

En Español

Outdoor burning public awareness campaign

Contact information


QUICK LINKS

Report a smoke complaint

Find out if there is a burn ban in your area

Contact your air quality agency

It is illegal to burn in a burn barrel in Washington!

PARTNERS

Local Clean Air Agencies

Air Watch Northwest