The burning season will end April 30, 2018. No burning will be allowed from May 1 - Sept. 30, 2018.

Seasonal Burning

Seasonal Burning

Burning is allowed in Hamilton County between October 1 and April 30 with the appropriate permits.  Seasonal burning was implemented to help Hamilton County achieve and maintain federal air quality standards.  Burning restriction is a proven method of controlling air quality and it encourages residents and companies to utilize alternatives to burning: chipping, composting and recycling.  The seasonal burn ban is from May 1 – September 30 each year. 

Burning permits cannot be issued until the permit application has been reviewed by Bureau personnel and an on-site inspection is made, where appropriate.  If a permit is issued, the applicant must sign and abide to the conditions listed on the permit.  Non-compliance with any of the conditions is a violation of the law, and is punishable by a penalty of up to $25,000 per day.

What's Prohibited? - The burning of garbage, treated lumber, paper and cardboard is NOT legal at any time.  During the seasonal burning ban, no burning in barrels is allowed.  Only clean, untreated, raw wood and natural vegetation are allowed to be burned.

Is There A Fee? - Residents burning within city limits are subject to a non-refundable $60 processing fee.  Residents of Hamilton County are subject to a non-refundable $10 processing fee.

Complaints - Burning is the number one complaint received by the Bureau.  Many times, the person calling is experiencing breathing problems because a neighbor is burning.  To make a complaint, call (423) 643-5970. We have someone on call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.  If the complaint is after business hours, leave a message with your name and number and a Bureau representative will contact you as soon as possible.


Alternatives to Burnings

Alternatives to Burning

The APCB encourages Hamilton County citizens to find alternatives to 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.

The Bureau recommends residents:

Brush Collection Sites

Brush Collection Sites

Wood Recycling Center
3925 North Hawthorne Street
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 697-9702 (map)

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This location also houses a Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Closed daily from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)

 City Landfill 

9327 Birchwood Pike
Harrison, TN 37341
423-326-1566 (map)

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

Obtaining a Burning Permit

Burning will only be allowed if the following conditions are met and the Bureau Director has issued a Seasonal Burning Permit:

  • The material must not be accessible for pickup service by the City of Chattanooga.
  • There must be no other reasonable method of disposal.
  • For City Permits (Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Red Bank and Ridgeside) an application must be submitted to the Director accompanied by a sixty dollar ($60.00) inspection fee.  For all other areas of the county, a ten dollar ($10.00) fee is required.  Fees are collected to pay for the inspection and processing, and are non-refundable even if the permit cannot be issued.
  • The burning must not present a health hazard or nuisance to others.
  • Burning hours vary - dates and times are listed on the back of the permit.
  • Only untreated wood and vegetation may be burned.

Please allow 4 to 5 business days for your inspection after which a status on your application will be available.
If you agree to burn under these conditions, you may download an application beginning September 18th for a burning permit.  To complete the application, fill it out, print it and mail it to:

CHCAPCB - Burning Permits
6125 Preservation Drive, Ste 140
Chattanooga, TN 37416-3740

If you have any questions about burning, please contact our burning inspector/investigator, John Schultz, at (423) 643-5988.