Herbicide banned to protect compost
Hopefully people will not use the intervening 12 months to stock up their garden sheds.
A group of councils and "green waste" companies has succeeded in persuading an environmental regulator to block householders' access to a herbicide for lawn weeds, because it is disrupting the compost trade.
The Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma) has ordered retail packs of weedkillers containing the herbicide clopyralid to be taken off the market from August 19 next year.
Clopyralid is the active ingredient in a range of herbicides approved 23 years ago for the control of broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, clover and thistles, in suburban lawns, sports turf and hay crops.
The Business Council for Sustainable Development asked for the ban - but the contact person for its application was George Fietje, general manager of the compost company Living Earth, which has long campaigned against the herbicide.
Concerns were first raised in the late 1990s and Living Earth formally complained in 2002 that grass clippings containing spray were contaminating its compost.