How do I burn leaves in my back yard? Can I have a fire pit in New Haven?

Brian Tang

No open burning is allowed in New Haven: http://library.municode.com/HTML/14668/level3/TITIIICOGEOR_CH30.75WADI_ARTIINGE.html#TITIIICOGEOR_CH30.75WADI_ARTIINGE_S30.75-10OPBU
It appears curbside leaf collection is available in the fall: http://library.municode.com/HTML/14668/level3/TITIIICOGEOR_CH30.75WADI_ARTIINGE.html#TITIIICOGEOR_CH30.75WADI_ARTIINGE_S30.75-14MALECOPR

If you have the space, I would highly recommend composting the leaves or checking to see if you have a neighbor or nearby community garden with a compost bin that needs leaves. Leaves generally have a better nitrogen to phosphorus ratio than food waste and are an important component of any good compost system.


This was the answer that CAO Robert Smuts gave me when I asked, "You need a permit to burn leaves, and you go to the Fire Marshal's Office at 952 Grand Ave. We very, very rarely grant them, however, due to the scarcity of appropriate set-ups in our city where it would be safe."

Christopher Schaefer 4 Congress.Com

Oops. Didn't see that this had just been answered by Brian Tang 13 minutes before me!

Christopher Schaefer 4 Congress.Com

I've not been able to find this in the Municipal Code: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientID=14668&stateID=7&statename=Connecticut
nor in the CT State Statutes: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/statutes.asp
I'd suggest you call the Fire Chief: http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/Fire/index.asp [In most--if not all--towns leaf burning was banned long ago. Fire Pits seem to be less regulated, but I'd be surprised if they were legal in a densely populated area like New Haven.]


The ban is primarily motivated by environmental rather than safety concerns. Burning leaves produces particulate matter (soot), a form of air pollution. Even though I enjoy the smell, the pollution does exacerbate asthma and other health problems.

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