Bonfire rights [UPDATED]

A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
- The Bonfire of the Vanities

BC regular Lou Baker is well known for his sensitivity towards others' feelings and has posed this ethical question for us all:

Having had my home smoked out by a moron who decided to burn their crap on a day when everyone had their windows open, I'd like the chance to raise the case for banning this anti-social activity and name and shame the people who do it.

As it happens, BC has been wondering what the neighbourly etiquette is for bonfires, as we've spent hours uprooting bamboo and lopping branches and now have a lot of garden waste to deal with.

So, please help us - what are the terms under which it is OK to light bonfires?

UPDATE: In the comments, Ian has pointed out the Lewisham Council garden refuse collection service as an alternative. Ten bags for ten quid. Click here for details.

UPDATE: We've found an alternative to burning or bagging our waste - one that's sure to infuriate readers who think that "sustainably caught fish" are only eaten by ponces. An amazing Goldsmiths student is going to paint the bamboo and reuse it in an art installation with Homemade London.