Green Party welcomes trials of alternative to Monsanto Weedkiller

15th May 2018



The Green Party has welcomed Dublin City Council’s decision to trial alternatives to the use of glyphosate as a weedkiller on streets and in parks in Dublin.
 
This follows on from a Green party motion to City Council seeking the use of alternative methods of weed control. Questions to the Chief Executive showed that three and a half tones of Monsanto’s Roundup glyphosate are purchased annually at a cost of more than €50,000.
 
Research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization) states that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. Since then the Green party has pushed for alternatives to be used, particularly in areas where children are at risk.
 
Information supplied by the City Council to the Green party says that three alternatives will be trialed this year in selected areas: Mechanical weed control using spades and shovels;  a hot foam known as ‘Foamstream’ with no chemicals that kills the weed (weedingtech.co.uk); and a method known as ‘New way’ spray which uses vinegar.  Greentown Environmental Ltd will carry out the tests.
 
Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe said:
 
“I am pleased that Dublin City Council’s Parks Department is moving forward to trialing new methods of weed control. Parents don’t want to see Roundup used in proximity to where their children play, and I hope that these trials will allow us to choose an alternative method of weed control. This trial also addresses an Action in the City Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan2015-2020 to ‘Prepare and implement a pesticide reduction strategy within Dublin City Council’.
 
Further information:
 
Questions and replies to the Chief Executive with detailed information follow:
 
Question to the Chief Executive                                 Council Meeting 7th September 2015
 
Q.144  COUNCILLOR CIARÁN CUFFE  
 
To ask the Chief Executive to state how much was spent on weed control contracts in the last year for which financial figures are available and how much and what type of weed killer was used.
 
CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S REPLY:
 
The following table sets out the overall use of glyphosphate herbicides by individual departments of Dublin City Council.
 
Dublin City Council Department
Glyphosphate Herbicides Used
Quantity Used
Culture, Recreation & Amenity
 
Roundup Biactive, Nomix Dual, Nomix Hilite, Glyfos, Pistol, Destrol Amenity, and Rifle
1933 Litres
Environment & Transportation
Roundup Gold
400 Litres
Housing & Residential Services
Roundup Biactive
1125 Litres
Total
 
3458 Litres
 
Question to the Chief Executive from Cllr. Ciarán Cuffe submitted 26th August 2015
 
“To ask the Chief Executive to state how much was spend on weed control contracts in the last year for which financial figures are available and how much and what type of weed killer was used.”
 
ANSWER 
 
Dublin City Council and its agents use several different herbicide products which contain glyphosate. These include Round-Up, Nomix Dual, Nomix Hilite, Glyfos, Pistol, Rifle, and Destrol Amenity. Each product is used for different situations, and each product is priced differently.
 
Dublin City Council operates a contract for the control of weeds on public roads, laneways, footways, medians and other areas taken in charge by Dublin City Councils Roads Maintenance Division. In 2014, €250,000 was spent on this contract and 880 Litres of Roundup Gold were used. The cost of herbicides used was €5,636.40.
 
Weed control forms only part of the Parks Service contracts for open space and verge maintenance. These contracts also include for litter removal, grass cutting, tree maintenance, vegetation pruning  and hard stand maintenance and the cost of herbicide application is not itemized separately. The volume used is 365 litres (of glyphosate products) per annum.
 
The Parks Service also undertakes weed control by direct labour. 1,568 Litres of glyphosphate based herbicides were purchased in 2014 at a cost of €37,192. 225 litres of non-glyphosphate products was purchased in 2014 (Basta, MMC Pro, Garlan, Flexidor, Chikara, and Synero)  at a cost of €11,957.
Housing maintenance purchased 1,125 Litres of Roundup Biactive in 2014. This cost €12,342.73.
 
It is proposed to set up a system to monitor the purchase and use of herbicides/pesticides by Dublin City Council and to set targets for minimising use over a number of years. There will be a specific Action in the Biodiversity Action Plan2015-2020  to ‘Prepare and implement a pesticide reduction strategy within Dublin City Council’