Knotweed News


Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Tuesday 20th October 2015

I’m guessing that in the near future we won’t have ‘landfill sites’ any more, they will all be ‘Land –full sites’. It’s only a matter of common sense that if you keep filling holes with rubbish, then eventually there won’t be any ground left to fill?

I’m reminded of scenes from the Sopranos when the waggons of waste are diverted into a local reservoir, or scenes from the Simpsons when Homers plans to upgrade the bin collection service runs into trouble when waste pumped into caves erupts on the golf course.

People often ask me – ‘when the Japanese Knotweed is taken off site to landfill – what do they do with it?’

Well…it’s not ‘rocket science’ – they just dig a big hole and put the waste into it. Nothing glamorous, nothing clever, no nuclear proof thick walls of concrete…just a big hole. In fact landfill sites are often rife with Japanese knotweed where casual tipping has left areas of infested material unburied.

Now correct me if I’m wrong here but there are only so many ‘big holes’ that can be filled before the entire world just becomes one big landfill site. I can remember two sites local to me in Glossop where there were huge landfill sites – now these areas are grassed over and grazed by cattle. Another one in Buxton is now a golf course – where previously seagulls flocked and large machines moved piles of rubbish around – there is now an amenity area capped with soil and heavily used for recreation.

Now I’m assuming that somewhere somebody will have a record of this and future generations will be aware that they cannot dig into or develop on these areas? ….

I’m foreseeing a patchwork of landfill sites all over the UK like a giant jig saw….THAT EVENTUALLY LEAVES NO SPACE FOR ANYTHING…

Here at Japanese Knotweed Solutions we explore every avenue BEFORE we suggest using a Landfill facility –

  • chemical treatment
  • burial on site
  • waste management on site
  • burial in peripheral bunding
  • burial beneath car parks
  • screening options
  • …anything we can do to prevent vital landfill being used for what is basically…a plant.

Don’t get me wrong here; occasionally there is nothing else we can do other than remove to landfill. Site development might not fit with the proposed alternative option and often build timescales just don’t allow the lengthy period required for chemical treatment.

More and more now we see development being maximised on site due to the need to build as many properties as possible – this results in minimal land left for burial of waste on site meaning that excavation to off-site facility is the only answer.

Screening of material is often recommended as a way of reducing the amount of material taken off site to landfill – however the screened material cannot be taken off site as ‘knotweed free’. Once separated the resulting screened soil should ideally be buried beneath a capping layer and monitored. This relies on having space available for this part of the process… and with current build densities being so high this is often not feasible.

Changes in legislation will I’m sure eventually lead to a refusal to accept Japanese Knotweed at landfill sites …and I’m sure this is on the current horizon. Companies building new houses will have to be creative with how they deal with contaminated land and be fully up to speed with ALL strategies available to them for dealing with Japanese Knotweed.

Japanese Knotweed Solutions will continue to be the best service provider in the industry and continue to make sure our clients always get the best advice and the most viable options. If land-fill sites are ‘landfull’ we will have all the alternative strategies on hand to ensure you hit your build target.


Mike C

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Mike Clough

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