Ragwort: Guidance on the disposal options for common ragwort (PB11050)

Rotting down (biodegrading) using a compost bin

NB: This does not constitute composting.

When to use this option
  • For disposing of small quantities where ragwort can be safely rotted down on-site.

The capacity of standard compost bins is limited and they are only suitable for small-scale disposal. In compost bins the ragwort material is bio-degraded by the combined process of rotting down and composting.

What is required

A proprietary rigid type plastic compost bin or similar, with lid, such as available from a garden centre.

Where to site it

The compost bin should be located away from any ditch, watercourse or area where animals may have access to it.

How to go about it

The ground should be levelled where the compost bin is sited. The earth should be loosened so that earthworms, insects and micro-organisms can move into material and any liquid can drain and disperse to the soil.

If the material is collected in plastic sacks, these must be emptied into the compost bin directly. If paper sacks are used, these could be loaded into the compost bin and should be sliced and consolidated, to increase the rate of biodegradation. The residues should be covered with a layer of grass clippings to help start the biodegradation process and help prevent the material drying out. If the process dries out, then there is the risk that some seeds or root material may not be destroyed and may lie dormant. Sufficient water should be added to keep the residues moist. However, there is still a risk of spreading viable material when the compost bin is emptied. The risks can be reduced by allowing the rotting down to continue for up to 12 months retention in the compost bin, during which time no fresh material should be added. If there are any concerns about the residues they should be transported to landfill. For advice please check with your Local Authority.

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011