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UK Government Gives Update To Japanese Knotweed Control

Government Japanese knotweed advice updated

Changes have been made to Government advice on how to identify, stop the spread and dispose of Japanese knotweed in England.


japanese knotweed

 There are changes to headings and overall content review.

The Givernment advises: "Do not treat knotweed yourself unless you have the appropriate skills and experience. You can find companies that specialise in treating knotweed.

"Spraying or injecting the stems with chemicals can be an effective treatment to stop knotweeds spreading. You must only use approved herbicides.

"You’ll have to respray. It usually takes three years to treat Japanese knotweed. This is how long it takes for the underground rhizomes to become dormant.

"You may need to do any or all of the following when using chemicals:

make sure anyone spraying holds a certificate of competence for herbicide use or works under direct supervision of a certificate holder
carry out a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health assessment
get permission from Natural England if the area is protected, for example sites of special scientific interest
get permission from the Environment Agency if the plants are near water

"You may need any of the following to dispose of certain chemicals:

an environmental permit
a waste exemption
trade effluent consent

"You must dispose of chemicals through a registered waste carrier to a permitted waste disposal facility.

"You must notify the Environment Agency at least one month before you bury the knotweed.

"You can dispose of the dead brown canes of Japanese knotweed by composting on-site, as long as they’re cut (not pulled) a minimum of 10 cm above the crown.

"You must bury knotweed material:

on the site it came from, including ash and soils containing potential knotweed propagules
at a depth of at least 5 metres, if you have not sealed with a material called a geotextile membrane
at a depth of at least 2 metres, if you have sealed with a geotextile membrane

"You must make sure that any geotextile membranes used for burial are:

large enough to minimise the need for seals
sealed securely
will remain intact for 50 years
UV resistant

"You can use a contractor with experience burying knotweed - check that they’re part of an assurance scheme, such as one with a relevant trade body.

"If you are a business that wants to burn Japanese knotweed you must:

tell the Environment Agency at least a week before you burn it
tell the environmental health officer at your local council
get a burning waste in the open exemption (a D7 exemption)
follow local bye-laws and not cause a nuisance

"If you are an individual who wants to burn Japanese knotweed, you only need to check with your local council that burning is allowed.

"Knotweed crowns and rhizomes may survive burning, so you must follow the guidance for how to bury it or how to dispose of it off-site.

"You can supervise the management and disposal of knotweed yourself, or you can hire a specialist to do it for you.

"Look for a contractor with the following accreditations and registrations:

Amenity Forum Membership
BASIS Professional Register
BASIS Amenity Training Register
BASIS Nominated Storekeeper (NSK) Professional Register

"Many of these companies belong to one of these trade bodies:

Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association (INNSA)
Property Care Association (PCA)

"If you cannot dispose of Japanese knotweed suitably on-site, you must send it to a landfill site or incineration facility that has the correct type of permit.

"To find out where you can send it, contact the Environment Agency or your local waste disposal site. You must tell the Environment Agency that you have done this and where you have sent it.

"You must use a registered waste carrier and an authorised landfill site or suitable disposal site.

"You must follow the law if you’ve been employed to transfer goods or material by road and you’re disposing of any waste that has or might have Japanese knotweed in it.

"You must not:

dispose of Japanese knotweed with other surplus soil
sell soil contaminated with Japanese knotweed as topsoil

"You can only reuse knotweed-contaminated soils after treatment on the site where they were growing.

"You cannot get a waste licensing exemption for the use of Japanese knotweed.

"Before you transfer Japanese knotweed waste you must:

check with the waste site in advance to make sure it’s got a permit to accept material containing invasive plants – the waste site may also need time to prepare
tell the waste site that you’re transferring Japanese knotweed waste
operate within the conditions in Treatment and disposal of invasive non-native plants: RPS 178
get an environmental permit to transport and dispose of controlled waste

"When you transfer the Japanese knotweed waste you must cover or enclose it in the vehicle so that no waste can escape during your journey.

"After you’ve transferred the Japanese knotweed waste at the disposal site you must:

brush vehicles down vigorously or jet-wash them to clear them of any Japanese knotweed
inspect your vehicles to check there’s no trapped pieces of plant or rhizome."


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