More Horror Stories

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 29th April 2015

As our team of surveyors travel around the country they often come up against our competitors. Obviously clients want to know that they are getting value for money so it’s only right that they get quotes from other companies that deal with Japanese Knotweed. However…we don’t half get to hear some interesting stories;

On a large (Olympian scale) project where a screening process was used, the arising material was sold as ‘clean’ topsoil – aaaarrrgghh this is both illegal and incorrect. The arising material from screening must be kept on site and dealt with as contaminated as it is highly likely to contain active rhizome. Ideally it should be buried on site and monitored over the coming seasons, as an option it can be stockpiled and monitored in a waste management area.

On a large housing project rhizome material was being buried on site in a terram liner which split during the burial process – when asked by the client what they were going to do about this the contractor replied – ‘if you won’t tell anyone then I won’t either’ …again aaaaarrrggghhh. JKSL (and other INNSA members) use landfill grade liners (which aren’t cheap) which don’t split and tear under stress – these liners are heat sealed and glued together to give the most secure of barriers available in the market today.

JKSL have been looking at a project in Middlesbrough where a client had a small Japanese Knotweed problem – they had called us in because they were a little doubtful of the advice given by the French speaking contractor they had contacted. They had been told that ‘every house’ on ze estate ‘had to have how you say …an insurance backed warranty …’ even though only one of the properties had been impacted by an adjacent infestation of knotweed. They had quoted £60,000.00 yes SIXTY THOUSAND POUNDS – plus VAT …our quotation was £3885.00 plus VAT …again …aaaaarrrggghhh
It is no wonder that the industry has been accused of malpractice when idiots like these are wandering around. My problem is that people keep employing these morons – and I can’t quite understand why?

Luckily the company that was involved with the first two incidences has ceased to trade – unluckily they have started to trade again under pretty much the same name but just adding Research and Development to their previous abbreviated name…be warned…!

My theory with some of the other nonsense that goes on is that people just don’t understand knotweed removal. They go into a panic with some of the stories that are circulated and then they believe what the scaremonger contractors tell them…

Well please let me give you all a piece of good advice – please DO NOT just pick any old contractor to give you advice – use the INNSA website

The Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association will not give you any bullshit, they won’t tell you horror stories and they won’t over charge you. You will get clear impartial advice and you will get prices that are comparable – if one of our members is cheaper or more expensive there will be a valid reason for the cost difference (probably geographic) …and…you will not find one INNSA member quoting £500.00 and the next one £128,000 as has happened on a recent tender bid on which we submitted prices (…not an INNSA approved tender list I should add!).

Japanese Knotweed eradication is not a mystical science, it’s not smoke and mirrors and there are NO ‘secret techniques’ – there are clear rules and regulations that must be followed, as set out in the Environment Agency Code of Practice. The techniques employed have clearly defined parameters with clear costs associated with them – do NOT employ anybody that tells you they have a secret chemical mix …and do not employ anyone that has an acronym in their method statement.

Acronyms are used to just try and make something simple… sound complicated…

So PLEASE for my peace of mind and to stop me banging my head against a brick wall – please, please use an INNSA contractor and don’t employ anybody that’s French.

Let’s turn the horror stories into fairy tales with happy endings…

Mike C

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Mike Clough

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