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Seasonal Burning Ban

From May 1 through September 30, no burning--commercial or residential--will be allowed in Hamilton County.

Burning restrictions are proven methods of controlling air quality and they encourage residents and companies to seek out alternatives to burning, like chipping, composting and recycling. Burning includes fires used for the disposal of trees, brush or other natural vegetation from on-site land clearing projects.

The use of burn barrels is also prohibited during the seasonal ban.

What is so bad about burning?

Burning leaves, brush and other vegetation produces smoke. Smoke contains a number of hazardous air pollutants, which increase levels of ozone and fine particle pollution. These pollutants cause health effects ranging from allergies to cancer.

Getting permitted for next season

To receive an application for a permit for next season contact the Air Pollution Control Bureau at 423-643-5970 or visit the Permit Application page.

Recreational fires -- okay

Only recreational fires are allowed in Hamilton County during the seasonal ban. A recreational  fire is a cooking fire or campfire, using charcoal or firewood that occurs in  designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes. Ceremonial fires in the city of Chattanooga must have a permit from the Chattanooga Fire Department, (423) 697-1450. Call a week in advance. Please give advance notification to your local fire department if you do not reside in the city.

The burning of garbage, trash, treated lumber, paper and cardboard is not legal at any time.

Alternatives to burning

PLAN AHEAD - Plan to clear and burn during the other seven months of the year.

PILE - Pile debris until the restrictions are lifted on October 1 (call 423-643-5970 September 1 to apply for a permit).

PICKUP - Set brush at the curb for monthly pick-up offered by these municipalities: Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Red Bank and Signal Mountain.

DROP OFF - Drop off at City Landfill on Birchwood Pike.

RECYCLE - Recycle by chipping or grinding and reusing the chips as landfill or mulch, or drop off brush at the Wood Recycling Center. Mulch and compostare free for city residents. There is a small fee for non-city residents.

Brush collection sites

Wood Recycling Center
3925 N. Hawthorne Street

Turn off Amnicola Highway at the Police Services Center. Turn left on to N. Hawthorne and go to the end of the road.

Hours of Operation:Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. except for the 2nd Saturday of each month.

City Landfill
9327 Birchwood Pike, Harrison, TN

Take Hwy 58 north approximately 4 miles north of Harrison Bay. Turn left on Birchwood Pike. (Landmark is a store called "58" Mart. ) The landfill is one mile on the left.

Hours of operation:Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00p.m.

What happens if I burn during the ban?

Anyone who burns during the ban could be assessed a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day.
Benefits to piling, chipping or recycling:

  • Improved air quality
  • Habitat creation
  • Erosion control
  • Natural landfill

Burn bans do not just mean clean air--they mean jobs

Restriction of burning is one of the main control measures implemented

 as part of the Chattanooga Area Early Action Compact (EAC). Restricting burning seasonally will decrease summertime pollution by at least four tons per day. These measures will help Hamilton County achieve the new federal health standards for air quality, and keep jobs coming to our area.

We hope you will help us keep the air clean by composting, chipping or recycling your leaves and brush.

Other measures include Vehicle Emissions Inspection, Stage 1 Vapor Recovery (for trucks hauling gasoline) and Pollution Solution, a program promoting clean air by establishing Air Quality Action Days.

For more information:

Chattanooga - Dial 311 or visit

Brush collection guidelines:

Collegedale - (423) 396-3135
4910 Swinyar Drive
Collegedale, TN 37315                                                                                      

East Ridge - (423) 867-7711
1517 Tombras Avenue
East Ridge, Tennessee 37412                                                       

Lookout Mountain - (423) 821-1226
700 Scenic Hwy.
Lookout Mountain, TN 37350

Red Bank - (423) 877-1103
3117 Dayton Blvd.
Chattanooga, TN 37415

Signal Mountain - (423) 886-2177
1111 Ridgeway Ave.
Signal Mountain, TN 37377

Residents of unincorporated Hamilton County areas must also obtain a permit from the Division of Forestry from October 1-April 30. Contact Forestry at (423) 332-3228 (west of TN river) or (423) 478-0337 (east of TN river).

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