Open Burn

"Open Burning" is defined as the burning of unwanted materials such as paper, brush, leaves, grass, and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air.

Open burning pollutes the air and poses a fire hazard to surrounding structures. The air pollution caused by the resulting smoke can irritate eyes and lungs, obscure visibility, create annoying smoke, and cause other health concerns.

Due to these problems, state and local laws prohibit open burning of many materials. Michigan air quality and solid waste regulations prohibit open burning that creates smoke or odor nuisances.

Burning of Household Trash:

Public Act 102 of 2012 prohibits the burning of household waste. Trash containing plastic, rubber, foam, treated lumber, textiles, electronics or chemicals must not be burned as emissions release chemicals which poses a danger to the environment. Local police and fire officers are authorized to enforce this provision as a state civil infraction of Section 11522 of Act 451 of 1994.

Burning of Yard Waste:

Since 1995, solid waste regulations have prohibited the open burning of grass clippings, leaves, and brush in Michigan communities with a population of over 7,500, including Garden City. Local regulations also prohibit the burning of this material.
As an alternative to burning, the state of Michigan, Wayne County, and the Garden City Fire Department recommend composting this material or disposing of it in accordance with the local trash removal company.

Burning of Building Materials:

Air quality and solid waste regulations prohibit the open burning of construction and demolition waste. Chemically treated lumber, synthetic material, and painted materials contain high concentrations of hazardous compounds that produce toxic emissions when burned.


Air quality regulations allow for the burning of logs, charcoal, and similar materials for the purpose of food preparation. Garden City ordinance 91.37 prohibits recreational fires stating "It shall be a nuisance and unlawful for any person to burn or allow to burn, at any time or place, any materials of any kind which exude obnoxious odors, or when a fire emits sparks or burning embers upon adjoining, adjacent, neighboring or nearby premises.