Working together to protect New Zealand

Weed Information

Disposing of Weed Waste

Bagging weedsWeeds seldom disappear altogether even if the green parts rot away; instead new plants may grow and spread from seeds or small pieces of vegetation.

Many weeds, such as tradescantia (wandering jew) grow from small fragments and are easily spread from dumped piles. Piles of dead weeds also look bad, take up space, and may be a fire risk.

Did you know?

  • Dumping garden waste damages our environment
  • Three-quarters of New Zealand's problem weeds are garden escapees or plants that have been dumped at parks, reserves, beaches, lakes and rivers.
  • Piles of garden clippings and weeds can smother regenerating native plants and harbour invasive plants or seeds.
  • Around 80 percent of the vines introduced to New Zealand that grow in our gardens cause problems in the wild.
  • Invasive weeds are damaging thousands of hectares and threatening thousands more.
  • The cost is huge. Controlling weeds costs ratepayers millions of dollars every year.

Please dispose of your weed waste wisely.

Do the right thing

  • Take garden waste to an approved landfill.
  • Use a tarpaulin to cover your load.
  • Make compost but be careful as some weeds, and many weed seeds, will survive being composted.
  • Be extra careful if you live near a reserve or natural area. Keep your garden free of invasive weeds and never dump garden waste on public land.
  • Vines and climbers are some of the most invasive weeds.
  • Get advice and information from your local council or the Department of Conservation.

Contact your local council for information on green waste sites.

Tips for disposal

If you are clearing a large area, choose a disposal method before you start your weed work by considering how the weeds you want to get rid of grow and spread.

Weeds that grow from fragments

Examples include vines and ground covers such as tradescantia, selaginella, blue morning glory.

Make sure you don't leave any plant pieces behind. Do not add to compost until treated as below:

  • In warm areas, lay in the sun on concrete or similar to completely dry out and reduce bulk.
  • In cooler areas, place in plastic bags or containers, cover with water, then leave to rot.

Once waste is completely dried or rotted, leave material on site to compost or if not, take to a landfill.

Weeds with tubers/corms

Yellow root gingerExamples include wild ginger and Madeira vine.

Do not compost tubers or roots that are likely to re-sprout and are not likely to be killed in compost heaps (e.g. wild ginger, Madeira vine).

  • Remove problem parts (tubers, rhizomes, berries & fruit) to a managed landfill for deep burial. Compost other parts of the plant.
  • Rhizomes or tubers can be hung up in trees in dry regions to wither. Then burn or take to landfill.

Note: Climbing asparagus has tubers for water storage and which do not re-grow. Just check the top crown below the stem is removed and disposed of carefully.

Weeds with lots of seeds, berries and/or persistent roots

  • You can bury or compost many weeds, but before doing so, be sure to exclude all parts of the plant that can survive to grow again - seeds, berries and persistent tubers and roots.
  • Finely shredding weeds in a garden mulcher before burying or composting will increase the rate of breakdown. The heat generated during composting helps ensure that no parts of the plant can re-grow.

Contact your local council for information on greenwaste disposal sites.