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Weedbusters warns on garden dumping dangers
Sep 8, 2005

New Zealand’s Weedbusters are taking part in Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Clean Up Week this month, focusing on the environmental dangers of dumping garden waste.

The organiser of Clean Up Week, Keep New Zealand Beautiful, has endorsed Weedbusters’ involvement, and welcomed its participation in the week’s activities from 19-25 September.

National Coordinator of Weedbusters Carolyn Lewis says the dumping of garden waste is a direct cause of new weed invasions in reserve areas and bush margins.

"There should never be an assumption that organic rubbish will safely rot down," Ms Lewis says. “Many weed species re-grow easily from small fragments of stem or roots.

"If people come across garden waste dump sites when undertaking Clean Up New Zealand Week projects, they should take note of them and let their local council know so the waste can be taken away and disposed of safely."

Research undertaken by AC Nielsen for Weedbusters in 2003 showed that less than half of those surveyed disposed of weed waste correctly.

“Only 12% linked weed spread with the improper disposal of garden waste. The good news is that 61% of those surveyed were very likely or likely to report the dumping of garden waste in a public place,” Ms Lewis says.

Weedbusters is an interagency organisation supported by the Department of Conservation, Biosecurity New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Biodiversity New Zealand, NZ Landcare Trust, Nursery and Garden Industry Association, NZ Biosecurity Institute, NZ Plant Protection Society, and all unitary and regional councils in New Zealand.

Ms Lewis says Weedbusters aims to ensure that all New Zealanders are aware of weeds issues, and take action to reduce the spread of weeds and their impact on the environment, economy and human health.