Invasive weeds: Guidance for the control of invasive weeds in or near fresh water

Disposal of non-native weeds

Plant material is considered a controlled waste, requiring a waste management licence, unless one of the exemptions set out in Schedule 3 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 applies, although exemptions also require registration with the Agency. The correct disposal of plant material as part of mechanical control is vital. It is best to contact the Environment Agency for advice on disposal because there are Regulations which cover the composting, burning and burial of plant materials on-site and the transfer and disposal of material to licensed landfill sites. Any burning must not produce excess smoke or create a nuisance and must take place on a hot fire consisting of wood or clean timber. Plastic and other rubbish must not be burnt. Tyres and petrol must NEVER be used to start a fire. The Environment Agency can give advice on suitable disposal sites and disposal methods.

Japanese knotweed will survive composting and therefore this method of disposal is NOT advisable. Japanese knotweed must only be buried or burnt in accordance with Environment Agency advice. Failure to ensure safe legal disposal or obtain an appropriate licence or exemption could result in prosecution. Burial on-site may require a licence under the Landfill Regulations 2002, whilst removal of plant material will need to be carried out by a licensed waste carrier and buried at a licensed landfill site.

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