Disposal of invasive yard waste is everyone’s responsibility

Many garden plants are becoming invasive or become invasive as a result of unsafe disposal practices, the Cariboo Regional District’s invasive plant management department says in a recent release.

  • Aug. 11, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Many garden plants are becoming invasive or become invasive as a result of unsafe disposal practices, the Cariboo Regional District’s invasive plant management department says in a recent release.

Unwanted plants in your garden should not to be disposed of by simply throwing the material in the empty lot or green space next to your lot.

If the plant is persistent in any way shape or form, it will recover from the initial shock of being uprooted and begin growing in its new home.

There are many vacant areas within residential settings where yard waste has begun growing and spreading into the adjacent land, outcompeting native plants and reducing habitat and food sources for native birds, insects, and animals. Once these plants become established, and especially if they are one of the more invasive horticultural varieties like Himalayan balsam, knotweed, mountain bluet, dame’s rocket, or goutweed, it is extremely difficult to control them.

Here are a few key points to consider and follow if you have plant material in your garden that you either know is an invasive plant, or is showing invasive tendencies within your garden:

• Remove unwanted plant material before they go to flower, or next best, before they go to seed.

• Deposit unwanted plant material in heavy plastic bags and dispose of them in the designated bins at your local landfill in Williams Lake, Quesnel, or 100 Mile House.

Please do not:

• Compost the material, as some plants spread vegetatively and will begin to grow in your compost and the seeds of the plants will grow when compost is added to soil.

• Burn in open piles, as seeds will often survive and will sprout.

• Dispose of unwanted garden plants in vacant areas or green spaces next to your home, as they may survive and begin to spread.

The most effective and efficient method to get rid of invasive plants is to prevent their establishment in the first place. Please take the time to learn about invasive plants and what they look like and do not purchase or grow them.

If you have any questions or concerns about invasive plants or need some assistance in the identification or management of them, please contact the CRD’s Invasive Plant Management department at 250-392- 3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636 or invasiveplants@cariboord.bc.ca

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