Is It Illegal to Burn Your Trash in Arizona?
The Threat of Natural Disaster
In Arizona, we're fortunate we don't live under the threat of most natural disasters in the same way other parts of the United States experience them.
While the possibility of an earthquake here is never zero, we don't have the same pressing fault lines California does. We're pretty far inland to get anything more than the residual rains of the hurricanes that occasionally spin up in the Gulf of Mexico. At best, the annual tropical storms dump a bit of moisture on us, but it's usually not much.
We're not really set up for tornadoes, here, either - at least not like you might see in the Oklahoma or the Midwest.
One thing we do experience here is impressively high winds. They seem to plague us the most during the mid- to late spring months. Coupled with a years' long drought, we're set up for some pretty mean wildfires.
Over the last few decades, we've had more than our fair share, all over Arizona. It's important for all of us to use care and planning when we consider burning anything in our state.
Is it Illegal to Burn Trash in Arizona?
The short answer is yes, it is illegal to burn trash in Arizona under most circumstances. Not only is the fire danger high, with high winds and dry, brittle material, especially during certain times of the year. But burning trash can release harmful pollutants into the air.
Did you know? Violating open burning rules can result in fines of up to $10,000 per day per violation? While there are some exceptions for agricultural burning, recreational fires, and ceremonial fires, they require a permit or notification to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) before burning.
How Do I Get a Permit?
There are two types of open burn permits: one for regular materials and one for dangerous materials. Not sure what type you need? You can check the AZDEQ website.
You can apply for an open burn permit online. Some counties and fire districts might have more requirements or restrictions for open burning, so it's always a good idea check local fire department before you burn.