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Don't Panic, It's Organic

Auckland City Council - City Scene

Auckland, the city where anything grows, has taken a major step towards being chemical-free.

It has implemented chemical-free weed control for road berms, kerbs, and footpath edges throughout the city.

Auckland City staff say they will continue to operate a no-spray register for residents who wish to maintain the berm and kerbing in front of their properties. However, residents on the register now have an opportunity to contact the council to ask to have their names removed.

The change of policy has brought about an immediate reduction in the use of chemicals in the street environment of over 95%. Weed control contractors now use organic herbicides, mechanical edgers, line trimmers and hot air in preference to chemicals.

The main organic herbicide being used is 'Organic Interceptor', which is a pine oil extract which smells like pine disinfectant. In tests people who are normally sensitive to chemicals have shown no adverse reactions to it.

Staff say occasional spot use of herbicides may be used to control nutgrass and extremely invasive weeds if the non-chemical control proves inadequate.

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