Disposal of harmful or invasive weeds
Invasive weeds like Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort can be harmful to people, pets and farm animals, and are often difficult to combat and harder to dispose of. This page is intended to give people in Ceredigion advice on how best to recognise, treat and dispose of dangerous and invasive weeds.
Please note that Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort are not accepted for collection by Ceredigion County Council in any of our household collections.
Japanese Knotweed is a non-native invasive weed introduced to the UK in the 19th Century as a decorative plant. Sadly, it has spread across the entirety of the UK, and is difficult to remove.
Japanese Knotweed can be recognised by its bamboo-like stems, shovel-shaped leaves, and white flowers (flowering in September/October). It can grow up to 3m in height and 7m in length underground.
It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to "plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild" Japanese Knotweed. If you have Japanese Knotweed on your property, while you are not obliged to remove it, you are obliged to prevent it from crossing the boundaries of your property.
Japanese Knotweed is notoriously difficult to tackle. Its rhizome (underground stems) can spread up to 7m away from the plant, and if a piece of rhizome as much as 1cm is left on the ground, the entire plant can grow back. For this reason, care should be taken when cutting Japanese Knotweed plants, and every piece of cut plant should be retrieved and destroyed. Other methods of control are effective. For more information on Japanese Knotweed control, see the Useful Links section below.
Japanese Knotweed is classified as controlled waste, and as such can only be disposed of in specific ways. Due to the unavailability of a licensed facility, Ceredigion County Council advises anyone wishing to dispose of Japanese Knotweed to place the debris in a paper sack, allow it time to dry out, and then burn all pieces of the plant that need to be disposed of.
Ragwort, properly known as Common Ragwort, is an injurious weed covered by the Weeds Act 1959. Landowners may be required to remove any Ragwort from their land subject to an enforcement notice from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), but are generally not required to do so.
Ragwort can be recognised by its clusters of yellow daisy-like flowers and green deep-toothed leaves. It grows up to 3 feet tall. Ragwort is toxic to horses, cattle and sheep, and should be removed from pastures wherever possible.
Ragwort is classified as an injurious weed, and is not accepted at any Household Waste Sites in Ceredigion. We advise that any householders seeking to dispose of a small amount of Ragwort remove the plant from the ground, place it in a paper sack to allow it to dry out, then burn it. For those seeking to dispose of a large amount of Ragwort (more than the amount you would find in a garden or on a domestic property), please contact us for advice.
For further information on Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort, please see the following links: