Haul a Day Junk Removal has been part of the composting removal business for many years in the Greater Victoria Area. Composting is nature’s way of recycling and the cornerstone of organic gardening. Composting helps minimize soil erosion, helps plants grow stronger and it reduces the amount of trash we produce on a daily basis. Without question, British Columbians are leaders in composting and recycling in North America.

Composting uses all sorts of organic materials, from kitchen scraps to garden clippings. Last year, one of my clients inquired how we handle and dispose of noxious weeds or invasive plants. I was stumped, no pun intended!

Invasive plants, if left unchecked, can have a very negative effect on the native plant ecosystem and even on human health. Most invasive plants have been brought in by people who purchased seeds from other continents and planted them in private gardens. It is important not to re-introduce these invasive plants into our public or private composts.  When these plants end up back into the compost ecosystem, the following can happen:

  1. They can aggressively push out and kill native plants, damaging our sensitive ecosystem.
  2. They are poisonous to humans, pets and wildlife.
  3. They reduce soil bank stability and increase fire hazard when dried out.
  4. They reduce future land and water use.
  5. They provide a habitat for invasive insects.
  6. They are painful for humans and wildlife due to spines and burs.
  7.  They cause an economic loss of 50 million dollars annually in BC.

Some Common examples of Invasive Plants

Scotch Broom 

Photo by Danny S. from Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Danny S. from Wikimedia Commons

English Ivy

By Steve Slater on Flickr

By Steve Slater on Flickr

English Holly

Photo on Wikimedia Commons

Photo on Wikimedia Commons

Giant Hogweed

Photo by Frizt Geller-Grimm on Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Frizt Geller-Grimm on Wikimedia Commons

You can find a list of BC’s most common invasive plants at the Invasive Species Council of BC website.

Generally, the procedure is mechanical removal. You need to make sure you remove the whole root. However, before you take on this job, make sure you know what type of invasive species you are dealing with and are aware of all the risks involved with this task.

Handling and Disposal of Invasive Plants

Always wear coveralls, gloves and eye protection when handling these plants.  Invasive plants must be placed in sealed garbage bags and marked as “Invasive Species” and taken to the CRD Dump for proper disposal. It is very important to not compost invasive plants, as this might reintroduce them into the ecosystem. Do not transport in an enclosed vehicle due to respiratory concerns. For more information, call the CRD Hotline 250 516-3030

Note to reader:  This post is for general information only. We highly recommend you do further research before removing any invasive species you may find in your garden.

You can find more information online at www.reportaweedbc.ca and at http://compost.bc.ca