Invasive or infected plants

Weeds are best controlled on site, but you can take small quantities from household sources to recycling centres. You should use heavy duty bags to transport weeds, and Common Ragwort should be transported in sealed bags or containers. When you get to the recycling centre, please tell the site staff that you have these types of weeds and they will direct you to the “cannot be recycled” skip.

Ragwort is a toxic plant and suitable precautions must be taken when handling both live and dead plants. You should wear sturdy waterproof gardening-type gloves, a facemask and coverings on arms and legs. If ragwort comes into contact with bare skin, you should thoroughly wash the area in warm soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

Where you find ragwort on highway verges, this should not be taken to a recycling centre. Please inform Somerset Highways if you find it on local roads or the Highways Agency for a motorway or trunk road.

Identification and information downloads

MAFF (now Defra) guidance on identifying Common Ragwort and other injurious weeds.

Japanese Knotweed is a foreign species introduced to the UK. It is invasive and spreads very quickly.

Please see the GOV.UK website for advice on identification, control, safe removal and disposal of Japanese Knotweed.

Do not bring infected leaves or branches to our sites.

Management of ash leaves and saplings

The Forestry Commission have issued the following advice for green garden waste:

“Householders [should not] put out green waste suspected of being affected by Chalara, but to deal with it within the grounds of their own premises, in all but exceptional cases.” Several options are suggested, with burning on site preferred. “Burning [can be] on the ground or in mobile incinerators brought to site (where these are used because they offer a practical solution to deal with a high volume of leaves) where allowed … and subject to the potential risk of smoke nuisance. The best way to do this is for householders, farmers and landowners to be considerate by advising their nearest neighbours before lighting a bonfire, so that they can be prepared for any minor inconveniences which might arise.”

“Where there is no suspicion that trees or leaves are infected with Chalara and there is no need to remove the leaves, they can be left where they fall. Where leaves need to be removed, for example, as part of normal maintenance existing waste management arrangements may continue to be used.”

Managing infected trees

Forestry Commission advice is that: “You are not required to take any particular action if you own infected ash trees, unless [the Forestry Commission] or another plant health authority serves you with a statutory Plant Health Notice. You should, however, keep an eye on the trees’ safety as the disease progresses, and prune or fell them if they or their branches threaten to cause injury or damage. You can also help to slow the spread of the disease by, where practicable, removing and disposing of infected ash plants, collecting up and burning, burying or composting the fallen leaves.”

Please note: Forestry Commission advice quoted is from their website on 17/9/2013.

Forestry Commission – management of ash leaves

Forestry Commission