I moved to Swansea in 1999 from an unincorporated area of St. Clair County that allowed burning at all times without any restrictions. One of the things that I found very attractive about Swansea was a governmental structure that did not interfere excessively in the routine conduct of residents.
I found the regulations in place in Swansea to be reasonable, that is, they allowed burning at specific times during the year, on specific days and at certain hours. It was possible to obtain burning permits for other times.
I can understand why there is a desire to restrict the burning of leaves and grass, but I’m not sure what residents with acreage or lots of trees are supposed to do. Unfortunately, some inconsiderate residents who attempt to burn leaves when they are damp or wet have created a problem for everyone.
However, I do not understand why it is necessary to restrict the burning of shrubbery clippings, remnants from garden plants or small tree branches.
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The law of unintended consequences is alive and well. By restricting burning, Swansea will both add to landfills and increase the cost of living for residents who have to pay to have yard waste removed.
This issue will be discussed again at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Wolf Branch Middle School. The present system that has been in place for many years is not broken. It is an error to fix it by restricting burning.