Residents in Northwest Georgia are no longer allowed to burn leaves. The annual ban that began May 1 is imposed because of smog concern and is lifted at the end of September, according to the state Environmental Protection Division.

Affected counties include Bartow, Floyd Chattooga, Polk, Dade, Walker and Catoosa.

“Citizens and businesses are not allowed to burn yard and land-clearing debris during the burn ban. Some activities such as campfires and agricultural activities are exempt.

For more information about alternatives to burning such as composting and chipping, please call the Department of Community Affairs at 404-679-4940 or the Pollution Prevention Assistance Division toll-free at 800-685-2443. Debris can also be hauled to a commercial processing/grinding/composting operation or to an inert or construction and demolition landfill.