Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Disposing of invasive plants and contaminated soils off-site

Disposing of invasive plant material and contaminated soils off-site

You should try to minimise the amount of waste you generate that contains invasive plants or their seeds, roots and rhizomes (underground root-like stems). Any waste you do produce should be treated on site where possible.

Any waste taken off site must be taken by a licensed waste carrier and go to a suitably authorised landfill site.

What you must do

When you transport invasive plants and soil contaminated with invasive plants, make sure that the vehicle is covered or sheeted so that seeds and plant material cannot blow away. If you allow contaminated soil or plant material to escape, you could be prosecuted and fined.

You must have waste transfer notes (WTNs) for any material leaving your site. You must list any material that contains invasive plants or their seeds on the WTN. Your waste carrier can only take the waste containing invasive weeds to sites authorised to accept it. Plant material, or soil containing plant material or seeds, is likely to be classed as non-hazardous waste - this is a different category from inert waste.

There is a duty of care for waste that affects all businesses. You must make sure that:

  • your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally by licensed individuals or businesses
  • you record all transfers of waste between your business and another business - using a WTN
  • you keep all WTNs, signed by both businesses, for at least two years
  • you record any transfer of special waste between your business and another business using a consignment note
  • you keep all consignment notes, signed by both businesses, for at least three years.

You must take waste plant material or contaminated soil to a site that has a pollution prevention and control permit or waste management licence.

The conditions of the permit or licence must allow the disposal of invasive plants at the site. You should check with the waste site in advance to make sure they can accept material containing invasive plants.

The waste site may need notice so that an area can be prepared. For example, a landfill site will need an area away from the landfill liner for material containing invasive plants.

Tax relief for disposing of soil containing Japanese knotweed

Land remediation relief (LRR) is a corporation tax relief scheme introduced to help bring land that has been ruined by various industrial uses or long-term neglect back into productive use. You may be able to claim LRR for removing contamination arising from Japanese knotweed. You will not be able to claim LRR if disposing of material containing Japanese knotweed to landfill.

HMRC: Guidance on Land remediation relief

Back to Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and other invasive species home page

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