The reason behind the WHCA programme
Low pollution days and nights require everyone with fires to burn smoke-free. Your home will be warmer, you'll use less firewood and help improve South Waikato's air quality.
During winter, the air we breathe in Tokoroa becomes so polluted that it is a risk to our health and wellbeing - especially for young children, the elderly, and those whose health is already fragile (i.e. asthma sufferers).
How does the air become so polluted?
The main cause is home heating (fires), old wood burners and especially the burning of wet wood and plastics.
What are PM2.5 and PM10?
PM 10s are tiny smoke and chemical particles small enough to enter your lungs and cause serious respiratory disease.
PM2.5s are even smaller particles that are able to penetrate deeper into the lungs and potentially cause serious disease.
What can I do?
- Council’s rubbish disposal system is economical, efficient and ensures that our rubbish is disposed of safely. More information can be found at Transfer Station - South Waikato District Council.
- Don’t burn plastic or rubbish, as breathing the resulting smoke can have serious health effects.
- See our video Learn to burn smoke-free (warmhomescleanair.co.nz).
- If your wood burner is old and burning inefficiently, you may be eligible for one of the three schemes available to replace it.
- Burn only dry, seasoned wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. see our list of BurnWise suppliers who are reputable suppliers of good dry wood.
- Have your flue swept at east once a year.
- Keep your firebox clean throughout winter, with a shallow layer of ash on the bottom.
- Upgrading to a clean heating appliance if you have an open fire and/or a wood burner that is non-compliant (i.e. not on the Ministry for the Environment database).