Clean Air Should Be A RIGHT For All!

Because We "Cair"


I just created a petition entitled All residents of Illinois: Stop Leaf Burning In All Towns With Schools, because I care deeply about this very important issue.  (Leaf burning is open burning and not the same as burning wood to heat a structure (wood burning furnace or fireplace.  Leaf burning is the target, not the occasional backyard campfire.)

I'm trying to collect 500 signatures, and I could really use your help.

To read more about what I'm trying to do and to sign my petition, click here:

It'll just take a minute!

Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well. Grassroots movements succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!


site updated 12-9-2011

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"Danvers Clean Air For All"

Americans With Disabilities Act: Includes those with Chronic Asthma and Heart disease:

Schools and Town parks are required to meet the ADA.  So all those that suffer from asthma and heart disease should be allowed to use the outdoors at these places and not worry about leaf smoke and premature death because of it.

Who is an “individual with a disability”?

As defined by federal law: “An individual with a disability means any person who: (i) has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity; (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment” [34 C.F.R. §104.3(j)(1)].

What are "major life activities"?

Major life activities include, but are not limited to: self-care, manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, sitting, thinking, learning, breathing, concentrating, interacting with others and working. As of January 1, 2009 with the reauthorization of the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act, this list has been expanded to also include the life activities of reading, concentrating, standing, lifting, bending, etc. This may include individuals with AD/HD, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, severe allergies, chronic asthma,  cardiovascular disorders... 

Examples of other towns:
The City of Ames Iowa: 

Q:  Can I burn my leaves?

A:  No.  The city ordinance on the subject of “open burning” states: “open burning of leaves is prohibited at all times.”  That has not always been the rule.  The City enacted the leaf-burning prohibition in 1998. The policy recognizes the adverse health effects that burning autumn leaves has for many people.  Some respiratory ailments make it impossible to tolerate smoke in the air without suffering a reaction that, for some, requires medical treatment.  In 1996, in a lawsuit brought against the town of Mallard, Iowa, in the U.S. District Court, it was ruled that a city ordinance permitting the open burning of leaves could be found to constitute a violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.  The court stated that a city permitting open burning of leaves prevented such disabled persons from enjoying access to city parks, traveling on city streets, or attending public functions held outside.  Consequently, the court concluded that if a city did not prohibit leaf burning it would be liable under Title II of the ADA as a matter of law.

The City of Ames ordinance does allow open fires for recreational purposes, but requires that the fire be more than 15 feet from any structure.  In recognition of the affect that smoke from open burning can have, the fire department is authorized by the ordinance to cause recreational fires to be extinguished upon receiving a complaint.

Q. What can I do with all these leaves?

A.  Ames residents have several options when it comes to disposing of raked leaves.  The leaves can be collected with regular garbage collection services, provided they are kept separate from other household garbage.  Leaves can also be used for mulch, otherwise known as land application, or they can be composted for use as fertilizer.  Mulching or composting can take place at the residence or at another location so long as the provisions in the Ames Municipal Code are followed. 

Here are some of the applicable provisions from the Ames Municipal Code:

  • Section 10.8 of the Ames Municipal Code describes the disposal options for household garbage and yard waste.  Yard waste can be disposed of in the same manner as regular household garbage but Section 10.7 requires that yard waste must be kept separate from other garbage. 

  • Section 8.204 of the Ames Municipal Code prohibits open burning of garbage or leaves.  There are some specific exceptions if someone obtains special permission from the fire chief but, in general, burning leaves on your personal property is not allowed. 

  • Section 10.24 of the Ames Municipal Code does allow someone to use leaves or grass for land application so long as the leaves are applied within seventy-two (72) hours of the time that the materials arrived at the site.  The Code also requires that the person who owns the property on which the leaves are applied must take reasonable measures to make sure that the leaves remain on the site of application. 

  • Section 10.24 of the Ames Municipal Code allows for the composting of leaves so long as it complies with the standards established by the Department of Natural Resources.  The DNR’s guidelines can be found in the Iowa Administrative Code at 567 Chapter 105 however these guidelines do not apply to yard waste that is “composted and used on the same premises where originated.”  So if you are composting your own leaves, on your own property, and plan to use to compost on your own property, you are good to go!  Commercial composters, or larger scale composting operations will need to be sure to consult the standards established by the Department of Natural Resources. 


Send A Letter:

simply print it out and mail it in

Form Letter for Danvers Village Council.pdf Form Letter for Danvers Village Council.pdf
Size : 72.965 Kb
Type : pdf

Print out a brochure for

Composting Your Leaves:

Composting Brochure to hand out.pdf Composting Brochure to hand out.pdf
Size : 387.672 Kb
Type : pdf


Print out a brochure to learn more

about starting a backyard compost:

brochure for clean air.pdf brochure for clean air.pdf
Size : 384.884 Kb
Type : pdf

Together we can create a change for the better of all!

Open Burning is burning in "open air."  Using fire wood to heat a structure such as a house or garage, does NOT fall under the heading of open burning and if open burning were to be banned, would continue to be permissible.

If open burning were to be banned in our town, the ordinance COULD be written to allow small clean wood campfires on occasion or could be written to allow them by permit.  These small campfires are not the biggest cause of our poor air quality.

*40 percent (nearly half) of Illinois residents have some form of health problem- allergies, bronchitis, emphysema, other lung problems (like asthma) or heart problems- that can be worsened by the toxins released from a smoky leaf fire, even blocks away. Sudden death can occur for these sensitive populations after breathing leaf smoke. (Am. Heart Assoc. of IL)

*Burning a ton of leaves will produce about 117 pounds of carbon monoxide, 41 pounds of particulates (most of them small enough to be easily absorbed in the lungs) and at least 7 highly carcinogenic (cancer-causing) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Am. Heart Assoc. of IL)

If our town were to ban open leaf burning, the health of our town would improve due to better air quality year round.  That would mean less health care costs for residents.  Our residents could save money and do something meaningful for our town and generations to come all at once!

At the most recent Danvers Village Council Meeting, the town lawyer, Pat, said that the "exemption" section of the ordinance unfortunately applies to the statement "No open burning, even of landscape waste" and burning dry leaves, sticks and branches is allowed, even if you live by someone with asthma and/or heart disease.  How sad.  Lets change that!  Change starts with YOU!!  Get involved, show you care!


Breathtaking Facts

  • More than 17 million people in the United States have asthma. Of these, almost 5 million are children.
  • About one in every ten children has asthma-like symptoms.
  • About three out of four children with asthma continue to have symptoms as adults.
  • Asthma results in about 3 million lost days of work each year among American adults.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1980 and 1994, the number of Americans who reported having asthma rose 75 percent.


Learn More About Asthma:

**To encourage a limit on/an end to open leaf burning: Contact the Danvers Village Council and/or President Ron Roth

at 105 South Broadway or

by phone: 309-963-4928 

Monday-Friday 8am-noon.

Village Council Meetings are open to the public and held the first Monday of the month at 7pm in the Village Council Room at 105 S. Broadway.

105 South Broadway
Danvers, IL 61732
Danvers Village Council