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Hogweed okayed for Coquitlam organics bin

Lanny Englund with a Giant Hogweed plant in Coquitlam. - janis WARREN/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Lanny Englund with a Giant Hogweed plant in Coquitlam.
— image credit: janis WARREN/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

A dangerous and invasive plant known for growing up to 15 feet tall can now be disposed of in the city of Coquitlam's green bins for the current — and future — curbside pick-up program.

Urban forest and parks services manager Lanny Englund said this week that municipal staff have confirmed with the contractor that giant hogweed can be thrown into the green collection bin but only if it is double-wrapped in brown kraft paper bags.

But removing it in the first place presents another set of problems.

To remove the plant, Englund recommends residents hire an expert as the sap from the hogweed stem and hairs can burn and blister skin.

If residents decide to do the work themselves, they should wear protective, waterproof clothing, gloves and safety goggles because, if the sap gets into the eye, it can cause temporary or even permanent blindness.

Currently, the city is monitoring 40 road allowances and parks and 30 private properties where giant hogweed has been known to grow.

In the past seven years, parks staff have nearly eradicated the perennial noxious weed from Rochester Park.

"You have to control it before it goes to seed," Englund said.

• For more information on giant hogweed or other non-native plants in Coquitlam, call the parks department at 604-927-6300 or email parks@coquitlam.ca.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

 

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