What is the legal way to dispose of Japanese Knotweed?
By The JKL Team

What is the legal way to dispose of Japanese Knotweed?

Legally, Japanese Knotweed must be disposed of as controlled waste under the Environmental Protection Act, requiring transport by registered waste carriers and disposal at licensed landfill sites in the UK.

Knotweed is “controlled waste”

So what does that mean exactly? Regulations state that knotweed (classed as “controlled waste”) is required to be handled, transported and disposed of under strict rules – it cannot be casually thrown away, and you definitely must not do any of the following:

  • Bin it
  • Fly-tip it
  • Compost it
  • Burn it

To be clear, this article is all about knotweed waste, which means all non-treated, treated or cut down plant material and all rhizome material (every last fragment) excavated, including the soils. Knotweed contractors are required to hold an up to date waste carrier’s license in order to take knotweed material and any contaminated soils off site to a landfill site licensed to receive it.

Knotweed has “legal implications”

It is illegal to grow knotweed in the wild, or allow knotweed to spread into the wild. Why is this so important? Because knotweed is a highly invasive plant that is a threat to biodiversity – it has the ability to deplete our native species. Knotweed’s environmental impact is high – meaning it affects habitats and ecosystems, harming the natural balance that allows species to thrive together.

Non-compliant disposal of knotweed waste could potentially lead to legal issues, hefty court fines and even imprisonment.

What does the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 require for Japanese Knotweed waste management?

The Environmental Protection Regulations state that you must handle Japanese Knotweed waste responsibly, ensuring it is transferred only to authorised parties and doesn’t harm human health or the environment. The transferor and the transferee shall each keep the written description of the waste and the transfer note (or copies) for two years from the transfer of the controlled waste.

The legally compliant way to dispose of knotweed

So whilst it is not illegal to grow or remove knotweed from your land or property, it must be carried out by professional contractors who work under strict management and health and safety guidelines. It’s clear that you cannot dispose of knotweed unless you have the right trade affiliations and licenses to do so. We can help.