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Greener methods to control weeds in borough explored

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Greener methods to control weeds in the borough have been trialled this summer, a scrutiny committee heard.

Officers provided an initial update on the pilot, which started in May, to members of the climate change and environment scrutiny committee last night. (wed)

It comes after the council was asked to look at its use of glyphosate to control the growth of weeds.

The committee heard as part of the trial, herbicide-free Foamstream had been used across the borough.

Councillors were told glyphosate-free Katoun Gold and Chikara had also been used, while workers cleared some weeds manually using strimmers and cutters.

Councillor Rob Clinton, cabinet member for waste management and climate change, said:

Controlling weeds is always a very contentious subject. We get people who want us to let weeds and wildflowers grow, while others will call and tell us how much of a mess it looks and ask for them to be cut back.
So we’re never going to please everyone.
But we did say we were going to look at other methods, which we have done through trialling Foamstream, Chikara and Katoun Gold in parts of the borough.

Councillor Shaz Saleem, cabinet member for highways and public realm, said:

What we can say at this stage is that we should look at whether a one size fits all approach is still appropriate.
We have to consider whether our approach for tackling weeds in parks compared to tackling weeds on our roads should be very different.
In terms of moving forwards, it’s still very early days and the pilot is just coming to an end. We will have more detailed findings, including costs, when we report back to the committee in January.

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