Can you burn green waste in your garden (leaves, branches, ...)?

Verified 22 March 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

No, it is forbidden to burn green waste (dry or wet plants) at home, whether with a garden incinerator or in the open air.

Green waste is garden (or park) vegetation. The plants are:

  • Grass after mowing
  • Dead leaves
  • Residues of hedge and shrub cutting
  • Residues of brush clearing
  • Peelings of fruit and vegetables

It is possible to use them in mulching or individual compost because they are biodegradable, i.e. they decompose over time.

It is also possible to deposit them in accordance with the rules set up by your municipality (waste disposal or selective collection).

However, it is forbidden burn them in the open air or with a garden incinerator. In addition, selling or lending a garden incinerator is prohibited.

Burning green wasteespecially if they are wet, releases substances toxic to humans and the environment (including fine particles).

We also have to look at the possibilities neighbourhood disorder (odors or fumes) and fire hazards.

However, derogations may exist in your municipality if there is no waste disposal or separate collection of green waste.

To find out how green waste is treated in your municipality, or if a derogation applies, contact your local council.

Who shall I contact


the prefect of the department may, in exceptional cases, issue an individual derogation to combat certain plant diseases or to eliminate invasive plants.

You can alert the hygiene services of the city hall in case of non-compliance with the ban on burning green waste.

Who shall I contact

A person who burns green waste may be fined €450 maximum. If you are bothered by the odors, you can also hold your neighbor liable for odor nuisance.