How can we dispose of Japanese Knotweed?
Samara from Woodford Green
20 August 2014
Plants and Gardens questions and answers
I live in London and we have recently discovered an unknown plant in our garden. We asked our gardener what it was and he confirmed it as Japanese Knotweed. The gardener said he has dug it up and I think he may have put it in our compost bin. Do I have to get someone round to dispose of it in a certain way or will it be okay left in the compost bin?
Your gardener should be a little more knowledgeable about invasive species, he needs to do some homework! Japanese Knotweed will not compost under normal conditions and is likely to continue growing within your compost material.
If you can find the plant and all of its fragments I would remove these and allow them to dry out on a plastic sheet, ensuring that the material cannot be blown around or accidentally spread – then incinerate all of the material.
You could get a specialist round to remove the plant – they would need to hold a ‘waste carriers permit’ – costs could be quite excessive depending upon your nearest landfill facility. If the Japanese Knotweed has begun to grow within your compost you should be very careful of what you use the material for – small root fragments can produce a whole new infestation of Japanese Knotweed.
One other way for you to proceed would be to ask a skip hire company to give you a price for removing a skip containing Japanese Knotweed fragments. You could remove the material yourself putting down plastic for the areas that you are travelling over with the knotweed and then having the plastic taken away within the skip.
You must clean your boots and any tools that you use in the process and keep record of what you did and where the material was taken to.
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