Cable burning

The demand for recycled copper is increasing rapidly.

Carrying out this activity not only puts the person in danger, but also those within the community where the activity takes place. 

The risks of burning insulation cable results in the release of dioxins, heavy metal and other forms of toxic pollutants, which if inhaled can lead to health related issues such as-

  • heavy metal poisoning
  • damage to the nervous system
  • cancer
  • kidney or lung infection
  • inflammation or heart related problems

Furthermore, this activity also poses a risk of fire safety since fires are often left unattended whilst the insulation cable is burnt away and this risk can be increased further by copper and associated electrical components exploding whilst in any fire.

You cannot use the above form to request we extinguish fires.  You will need to contact Humberside Fire and Rescue.

If you witness any person burning cable outside normal working hours or weekends, please contact Humberside Police on 101 (non-emergency number). If dark smoke from this activity is drifting across any road this may endanger traffic and pose a risk to your local community.

If you have CCTV footage, images or videos of this activity taking place, please ensure you keep this safe as this may be required for any enforcement action we take. 

What action can be taken by the Council

If we can identify those responsible from the evidence you provide we will investigate your complaint and appropriate enforcement action will be taken.

The law

Under the Clean Air Act 1993 it makes it a strict offence for any person who burns insulation from a cable, with a view to recovering metal, unless otherwise permitted as part of any permitted environmental process as prescribed in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and associated regulations.