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North Shore City to trial new weed control method

North Shore City to trial new weed control method

North Shore City Council will continue using a chemical-free hot water method for weed control on most of the city's roadsides, while trialling a new method using hot foam in Devonport.

"North Shore City has been a leader in reducing the use of herbicides for weed control since adopting the hot water method in 1993," North Shore City's Infrastructure and Environment Committee chairperson, Tony Barker, says.

"Now it is time to try a new method that may be cheaper and more effective than hot water, while avoiding the increased use of potentially harmful herbicides."

The hot foam method, which uses hot water plus a surfactant, will be trialled in the Devonport area south of Esmonde Rd until April 2008.

"The use of the surfactant to create the foam holds heat on the weeds for longer than just using hot water, killing them more effectively," Councillor Barker says.

"Officers will closely monitor the results of this method and report back regularly to the council, so we will have plenty of information on which to evaluate its effectiveness."

The council will continue to use mechanical methods and herbicide (glyphosate 360, commonly known as "Roundup") as a back-up where hot water is not effective - except in the area where the hot foam trial is being carried out.

"The council is aware there is a lot of concern among the community about the use of herbicide weed killers, so we will investigate the use of a dye mixed with the herbicide so residents can identify areas where it has been used," Councillor Barker says.

"We will also update our "No Spray Register" of residents who wish to have their properties excluded from herbicide weed spraying, and who instead want to be responsible for weed control between their property boundary and the roadside."

Residents who wish to be included on the No Spray Register should phone Actionline on 486 8600 or visit www.northshorecity.govt.nz and search 'weed control'.

ends

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