Is It Legal to Burn Trash Outdoors in Texas?
It’s time to answer the burning question.
Okay, that was a lame pun. But, if you reside outside of the city limits, having to haul your household trash off to the landfill can be a hassle. So, when I was a kid in the 80s, we would burn our trash in metal 50-gallon drums.
Of course, a lot has changed since the 80s when it comes to environmental regulations. That's why I decided to do some digging to determine whether or not it is still legal to put a match to your household garbage.
First and foremost, a burn ban in your area supersedes state regulations when it comes to outdoor burning. And those of us here in the Lone Star State are used to dealing with burn bans. So, always keep that in mind.
Even though I now live inside the city limits, there are times I wish I could just burn my household trash and not have to deal with going to the landfill when I have more than the dumpster at my home will hold. But that’s not an option no matter where you reside in Texas.
According to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules, the only time outdoor burning of waste is authorized is when the local government or jurisdiction does not offer trash collection services and doesn’t allow a business or other service to collect trash.
In that case, it’s okay to burn household waste outside as long as it came from a private residence that is used by no more than three families. But the waste must be burned on the property in which is produced.
However, items like tires, appliances, electrical wire, furniture, carpet, and construction debris are not considered to be domestic waste and can’t be burned.
It’s also important to point out that the burn can’t cause a nuisance to those in the surrounding area or pose a traffic hazard.
Still have questions regarding TCEQ rules on outdoor burning? Get more info here.