Japanese Knotweed has become a significant and costly problem which has spread to many areas of Ireland. The plant is an invasive species which is extraordinarily aggressive can poses a substantial threat to the built and natural environment. There are a limited number of options for managing the plant on a site including long term treatment in situ or deep burial (up to 5m below ground level).
The only option to completely remove the plant and associated risk from the site is controlled excavation and offsite disposal. Disposal options in Ireland have been very limited with the majority of impacted soils being shipped abroad to disposal and treatment facilities in Europe. Shipment of material is expensive and presents its own biosecurity risks.
Japanese knotweed and the infested soil are subject to restrictions under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011. The law relating to Japanese knotweed is primarily contained in Regulation 49, which states that it is an offence to ‘allow or cause to disperse’ plants listed in the Third Schedule, of which Japanese knotweed is one. As such, any Japanese knotweed plant material or contaminated soil that is to be removed from an infested site can only be done so under a licence issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), within the Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
Additionally the materials are subject to regulation under the Waste Management Act and associated Regulations. Invasive Species Surveys have recently become a planning application requirement in many Local Authority areas.
IMS are one of the only facilities offering a safe biosecure disposal option for soils containing Japanese Knotweed rhizome in Ireland. An ecological survey, biosecurity plan and licence are required in advance of disturbing the infected area. Biosecurity and control measures are put in place to reduce and risks associated with excavation and transport of the materials.
In order to assess the soils for acceptance at IMS Hollywood representative samples of the soil matrix need to be obtained and analysed by an accredited laboratory for our waste acceptance parameters.
Analysis results are then sent to IMS along with additional site-specific information and we assess for acceptance. If the material is within our limits we will formulate a biosecurity and decontamination protocol for the material once it enters our facility. The disposal of the material will be carefully coordinated under supervision of an ecologist and landfill engineer to ensure safe disposal on site and full chain of custody and safe disposal certificates will be provided.