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Ask Us: Is it legal to burn trash in Rowan County?

By Samuel Motley
Intern@salisburypost.com 

It is illegal to burn trash in Rowan County.

The Rowan County Code of Ordinances spells out detailed regulations against burning solid waste.

“Solid waste means hazardous or nonhazardous garbage, refuse or sludge from a waste treatment plant, or water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility,” the ordinances state.

This also includes “domestic sewage and sludge generated by the treatment” of “sanitary sewage collection, treatment and disposal systems … other material that is either being discarded or is being accumulated, stored or treated prior to being discarded, or has served its original intended use and is generally discarded.”

In other words, all man-made and manufactured forms of waste are illegal to burn, said Capt. John Sifford, of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

“About the only item that is not covered in the ordinance would be tree limbs and leaves,” Sifford said.

The county ordinance pertains to open burning.

Since the beginning of 2017, Sifford said, there have been three citations issued for burning trash — one in 2017, one in 2018 and one in 2019 so far.

“On a number of occasions when deputies respond to a call of illegal burning, the suspect will be given a warning,” Sifford said. “On occasions where there is a chronic offender, the deputy will issue the citation which requires a court appearance.”

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