What can be done if neighbours leave their cottage with garbage burning in their fire pit? Are there laws that govern burning garbage?
Leaving a fire unattended is against the law and most municipalities have bylaws against burning garbage for obvious reasons (polystyrene doesn’t just stink when it burns, it also emits carcinogenic compounds). Finally, many municipalities have outdoor burning bylaws that restrict when and what you can burn. For example, the community of Minden Hills allows outdoor burning of only wood or wood byproducts and only during the period of two hours before sunset to two hours after sunrise from April 1 to October 31. Cottagers should check their municipality for the details of burning bylaws in their area.
Next time your neighbours do something as dangerous and inconsiderate as leaving an outdoor fire unattended, pick up the phone and call them. Let them know your concerns and ask them to put out the fire. If they don’t comply then call your friendly local fire department and lodge a complaint. Someone from the fire department will likely pay them a visit or send them a letter letting them know the local bylaws and giving them a warning. If a second visit is required, your neighbours may be fined. Should the department have to actually put out an illegal fire, the cottager could be charged for the use of trucks and personnel.