Disposal of Japanese Knotweed

All your knotweed disposal questions answered below

If you are found responsible for spreading soil or plant material containing Japanese knotweed you could be fined up to £5,000 or even sent to prison 2 years! This makes properly disposing of Japanese knotweed vitally important.

Japanese knotweed disposal is bound by several Environment Agency (EA) regulations so if you want to burn it, bury it or dump it you need to be aware of the legislation that surrounds these activities. Read on to find out how to properly dispose of knotweed and keep yourself on the right side of the law.

Burying Japanese knotweed

It is, of course, completely illegal to bury Japanese knotweed in the wild or on land you do not own. However, it can be safe to bury Japanese knotweed on your own land under the following circumstances:

  • Bury it at least 5 metres into the ground
  • Cover the plant remains with a root barrier
  • Avoid burying it with other kinds of waste

While the above may seem straight forward, burying knotweed on your own land could advance its spread onto neighbouring property. For this reason, you must check with the EA to see if this is allowed. You will not normally be allowed to bury Japanese knotweed on any land unless it is at a landfill site that has a suitable permit.

For the above reasons, we would always recommend using a licensed landfill site for Japanese knotweed disposal.

Burning Japanese knotweed

If you are planning to burn Japanese knotweed plant waste, you must inform the EA at least a week before you do. This is so checks can be made with the local council to ensure that burning is permitted.

Amazingly, Japanese knotweed rhizomes can survive burning, therefore it is still important to dispose of any remaining charred material following the burial advice above. Again we would recommend using a licenced landfill site for this.

Dispose of Japanese knotweed waste off-site

As we have mentioned above, disposing of Japanese knotweed at a licenced landfill is the easiest way to make sure you are staying within the law. The following points should help you through this process.

When transferring Japanese knotweed waste, you should:

  • Check with the landfill site in advance to make sure it has a permit to accept material containing invasive plants.
  • Tell the landfill site that you are transferring Japanese knotweed. They may require time to prepare.
  • Cover or enclose the knotweed waste in the vehicle used to transport it so none can escape.

After disposal, we would also recommend you make sure there are no Japanese knotweed remnants in your vehicle. We advise a brush down and jet-wash for peace of mind.

Find out more about Japanese knotweed and the law

Click the links below to find out more about knotweed rules and regulations:

Environment Agency on Japanese knotweed

The EA is a division of the UK government concerned with the environment. They have plenty of legislation on invasive species such as Japanese knotweed that is vital to know.

Find out more

Japanese knotweed and the law

It is not just the EA that have a say on Japanese knotweed. Improper spreading and a lack of care and attention could see the local council or even the police at your door.

Find out more

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