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Illegal and improper dumping blamed for spread of invasive plants in the Shuswap

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society’s executive director, Robyn Hooper, standing beside newly created signage found at landfills and transfer stations across the Columbia Shuswap region.
Image Credit: Contributed
October 05, 2016 - 2:30 PM

SALMON ARM - If you thought it was a good idea to dump the contents of your latest weeding session in with the rest of your yard waste, think again.

Invasive species such as Knotweed can easily be spread by illegal and improper yard waste disposal, Robyn Hooper, the executive director for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, says in a release.

“Invasive plant infestations may result from plant parts that re-sprout or seeds that spread from yard-waste dumping,” Hooper says. “The key is prevention and ensuring that invasive plants are double bagged, and deeply buried at the landfill—not put into any yard-waste or compost systems, or illegally dumped.”

She says new sites have been discovered in the Columbia Shuswap region where improper disposal has led to invasive plant infestations, both at landfills and illegal dumping sites.

The invasive plant Knotweed is one of the biggest concerns as it easily spreads from tiny fragments of root and stem cuttings, and has been spotted growing at a few sites in landfills, including near yard waste piles.

“Knotweed should not be composted or put in yard-waste, but rather buried in the landfill to reduce risk of spread,” Hooper says.

In response to the increasing amounts of invasive plants being found in landfill and transfer station yard waste piles, the society, along with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District have created ‘Do Not Compost Invasive Plants’ signage. Landowners are encouraged to contact the society with any questions.

More information on invasive plants to watch out for can be found here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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