It's against the law to carry out Japanese knotweed disposal improperly.
What do you do if you have a big and fast-growing bush in your garden or elsewhere on your property that you definitely don't want? Cut it down and get rid of it is probably what comes to mind. But, if it's Japanese knotweed and you don't dispose of it in accordance with official guidelines, you could end up in real trouble.
Japanese knotweed disposal must be done properly so it doesn't pose problems to the surrounding environment and those living in it. Simply digging it up and disposing of it on vacant land, a landfill or anywhere else out in the environment won't do. That's because Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive species that grows like wildfire and has the real potential to cause structural damage to homes, as well as financial losses.
Even a small part of the root system, known as a rhizome, disposed of out in the wild may well start growing and sending out new shoots that will quickly develop into an enormous and fast-growing plant. People all over the UK are battling this problem plant in their own homes, or calling in the professionals to effectively kill it off and get rid of it for good. So, if you're facing a Japanese knotweed difficulty, you are certainly not alone.
Japanese Knotweed Disposal Rules
Some people who think they have killed off Japanese knotweed, by either spraying it with weed-killer or digging it up — or both — decide to bury the plant somewhere on their property, with the hope it will never again see the light of day. Usually with invasive plant waste, this is not permitted by the authorities, however. If you really want to go ahead and bury it on your land, you first have to get approval from the Environment Agency.
They will tell you that you must bury your Japanese knotweed at a depth of at least five metres. It must also be covered with something that stops it from growing up through the soil again — in this case, what's known as a root barrier membrane layer. If you find that you can't dig down to five metres, it may be possible to wrap the entire pant in the root barrier membrane layer and bury it at a depth of at least two metres. It is not permitted to bury any other types of waste with the Japanese knotweed.
Businesses — including farmers — that have Japanese knotweed on their premises sometimes want to burn the plant they've dug up. Again, they must first get the go-ahead from the Environment Agency, as well as the local council and its environmental health officer. It is known that the Japanese root system can even survive burning, and this is why everything that's left afterwards must be properly disposed of off-site.
Off-Site Japanese Knotweed Disposal
For those who want to dispose of Japanese knotweed in somewhere other than their own property, there are strict requirements to keep in mind. For starters, the Japanese knotweed you've dug up and are hoping to drop off at some location will be classed as controlled waste because of its potential to cause ecological damage.
For this reason, to carry out proper Japanese knotweed disposal off-site, you have to use a registered waste carrier to handle it and take the weed to a suitable disposal site or an authorised landfill. Not following the law with Japanese knotweed disposal could attract penalties including hefty fines, so it pays to do it the right way — or have expert Japanese knotweed eradication firms such as Environet do it for you.
Just one final note, in case anyone thinks they can simply dig up their Japanese knotweed and throw it on their compost heap. That's also potentially illegal, as it will almost certainly start growing all over again.
If you would like to know more about proper Japanese knotweed disposal, Environet is here to help. Contact us today and we will be pleased to tell you everything you know — to protect your property, the environment and stay on the right side of the law.