Japanese Knotweed Excavation

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Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) has become a major problem in urban areas across Europe. This invasive species causes serious damage to infrastructure such as roads and buildings. How does it spread and why is it so problematic?

The plant was introduced into Britain from Japan in 1878. Today, it grows throughout England, Wales and Scotland. In recent years, its range has expanded northwards through Scandinavia and eastwards along the Atlantic coast.

A Japanese Knotweed infestation spreads via Japanese knotweed rhizomes or underground stems. These roots send out new shoots every year, which can grow rapidly per day. Once established, knotweed forms dense clumps that can block drainage systems and cause structural problems.

Want to develop on land contaminated with knotweed? Excavation might be your only hope

It is necessary to get rid of a Japanese knotweed infestation from any lands (or larger sites) affected by Japanese knotweed that are going to be used for construction or as development sites. If the weed is severe enough, it may be necessary to remove it before construction can begin.

Japanese knotweed has rhizomes that can grow up to 7 meters long from where they emerge above ground, meaning large-scale infestations may have gone undetected for some time. Plants can grow rapidly and become quite large, making it difficult to remove them without damaging the structure.

There are a number laws that control the removal and safe disposal of Japanese knotweed contaminated waste and contaminated material. Construction companies are subject to additional regulations that private landowners aren’t, no one wants cross – contamination.

Developers should ensure that they assign a registered waste disposal company to remove any contaminated soil. You should never attempt to remove any contaminated soils or wastes by yourself. If you’re caught doing this, you could face prosecution for breaking UK law.

Is Excavation just suitable for developers?

The short answer is no. Excavation and removal is the best option when herbicide treatments are not viable.

We will issue a certificate confirming that the site is free from Japanese Knotweed once the excavation has been completed.

If you have limited time and no other options, then using this treatment method is ideal. Instant eradication isn’t possible but this is the closest option available and will cut the time needed for Japanese Knotweed eradication from years to days or weeks.

Quickly removing all traces of the pest from your commercial project allows for a rapid solution to your issue and allows your business to get back to work almost immediately. If time is of the essence and you need to get rid of Japanese Knotweed quickly, then there is no faster Japanese Knotweed removal/ treatment method.

Waste taken off-site will always be done so by a licensed waste carrier to an appropriately-authorised landfill site.

Japanese knotweed excavation methods

For new build schemes and construction sites, excavation provides the fastest way of removing Japanese knotweed.

Excavation is a process that involves removing contaminated soil using plant equipment. We will either dispose of the knotweed or infected soil on-site in a controlled manner or move it to a licensed landfill site.

Once the knotweed survey has been completed, a surveyor will examine the site and determine the best course of action. Two main options exist for disposing of waste: on-site disposal or off-site disposal.

On-site disposal

If there is enough space on the site, one way of disposing of Japanese Knotweed is to move all the contaminated soil and put it in an off-site waste management area or an area designated for landscape purposes that will not be built upon. It can also be buried far underground in a cell membrane.

In addition to working under tight guidelines on-site and according to the RICS Japanese Knotweed Code of Practice for building sites, Knotweed Services has extensive experience in Japanese knotweed excavation.

Off-site removal and disposal of Japanese Knotweed Waste

The dug Japanese knotweed can be disposed of at a permitted landfill if there isn’t enough room on site. This method of Japanese knotweed excavation, on the other hand, is one of the more expensive methods but incredibly effective at allowing contractors to get to work.

Timetable for excavation of Japanese knotweed

Excavating Japanese knotweed is a quick job and once it’s done the site can be redeveloped. A typical Japanese knotweed excavation will usually take between two and five days, depending on the size of your site. If the site is huge, naturally the time frame will increase.

This is by far the quickest solution to completely eradicating this dreaded weed.

When it comes to Japanese knotweed, sometimes the only way to get rid of it is to dig it up and take it away

Japanese Knotweed Survey costYou might want to build something on a piece of land or as a property owner, just get your garden back. No matter what the reason is, Knotweed Services has years of experience digging up and getting rid of Japanese knotweed. Our expertise lets us make sure that only knotweed-affected materials are thrown away. This saves you time and money and gives you the confidence to move on.

Standard excavation procedure:

  • Conduct a Japanese Knotweed survey of the site for accurate identification and create a knotweed management plan.
  • Make sure the land isn’t contaminated in any other way and obtain landfill authorisation.
  • Hire a licensed waste hauler and make arrangements for excavation with the right equipment.
  • Undertake the excavation.
  • Provide and issue guarantees and\or provide an insurance backed guarantee.

The eradication of knotweed and Japanese knotweed waste, which is sometimes called “dig and dump,” it’s easy to make a mistake. Because all knotweed materials are considered controlled waste, everyone involved in the process has a duty of care. This includes the landowner, the specialist, the person who hauls the waste, and the place where the waste will be dumped. 

At Knotweed Services we handle everything for you with a professional touch, removing the stress of dealing with controlled waste and making sure you follow the law.

We may cooperate with the main contractor for them to provide machinery and manpower so that one of our certified Japanese Knotweed specialists can supervise the process, which can significantly decrease expenses.


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