25.2 C
Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Non-toxic steam weeding trials begin

Latest News

Community the big winner at Rotary Duck Race

The Richmond River at Fawcett Park in Ballina was full of colour on the weekend for the 30th Rotary Duck Race. The event has raised a quarter of a million dollars for charity over its history in Ballina.

Other News

COVID infections

My dear old aunty just died of COVID-19 in a Sydney nursing home. Locally, my son and daughter-in-law have had...

Northern Rivers closing in on 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases

There were 962 COVID positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the Northern NSW Health District in the 24 hours up to 8pm 11 January.

Psychedelic medical trials to begin

A new clinical trial exploring the impact of psychedelic medicines on brain activity has come a step closer to fruition, after being partially funded and granted ethics approval.

An unexpected vote for two Rous representatives from Lismore Council

Last night the new Lismore City Council voted for two Councillors to represent Lismore on Rous County Council, even though the agenda was clear that Rous County Council voting had been excluded owing to the requirement for a minimum nomination period of 21 days.

Govt offer pandemic payments 

There is now financial support of up to $750 per week for individuals who have lost work because they have had to isolate – or if you are caring for someone who has to self-isolate or quarantine owing to COVID-19.

Renew Fest hosts May vigil for grief

Renew Fest will host a weekend-long Vigil For Grief in May 2022, and will return with the festival itself in 2023.

 

Keep your toxic sprays away from our kids, Monsanto! It’s Paul to the rescue. Photo Jeff ‘Weeded Out’ Dawson
Keep your toxic sprays away from our kids, Monsanto! It’s Paul to the rescue. Photo Jeff ‘Weeded Out’ Dawson

Hans Lovejoy

Chemical-free weed control has come to the region and soon you may be seeing this chap steaming roadside weeds, carparks, playgrounds and estates around the Byron Shire.

It’s all thanks to an Aussie patent, which gives just the right heat to a spray nozzle to kill weeds. And remarkably the weeds are mostly eradicated after a second application.

Local property maintenance business operator Paul Sommers, from Garden Warriors, is the north coast licensee for Australian company WeedTechnics, and has partnered with Byron Shire Council to trial it on open spaces.

The new venture is called Steam Weeders, and his rounds will include Mullum’s new Tallowood Estate and various parks and playgrounds.

Sommers said he was compelled to look for alternatives to herbicide  use after public concern about their widespread use.

While the proliferation of herbicide use is a concern that mainstream media has largely ignored, it was the subject of a 2012 University of Leipzig study which found 100 per cent contamination of Monsanto’s glysophate in all urine samples tested. Additionally glysophate exposure in rats resulted in decreased testosterone levels, according to a 2011 paper published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).

Redundant chemicals

‘It makes chemical use – especially around public places – almost redundant,’ says Sommers.

‘There’s no risk of litigation due to toxic spray drift, and it can be used in all weather conditions.

‘It also gives native plants a chance to grow after the weeds have been eradicated. It’s perfect for rehabilitating weed-infested waterways and organic farms as well.’

Council’s parks and gardens superintendent, Andy Erskine, is supportive of initial trials, saying applications last month at the Suffolk Park sports field carpark appeared to work well.

‘From initial observations, certain weed types such as flat and broadleaf, fit best under the applicator hood and are immediately burnt back.’

The robust invention all sits on a trailer – a diesel engine heats up a water boiler to 120ºC; that is attached to a specially designed ‘Steamwand’. The WeedTechnics website claims that, ‘for hydro-thermal weeding to be commercially viable, temperatures need to be greater than 98°C, and must have rapid transfer into the plant cells.’

Sommers enthuses, ‘Hybrid and fully electric vehicles incorporating the invention are being developed and some were on display at a recent trade show.’

And it’s also not the first time Byron has had the WeedTechnics technology available: in 2011 a local steam weeding business launched; however, the owner relocated to WA soon after.

But it is a first for Byron Council – the trial supports an ambitious resolution back in late November 2013 to be chemical free within five years.

Byron has now joined other councils in trialling chemical-free weed control, including Victorian councils of Maroondah, Yarra and Greater Dandenong.

Fremantle (WA) and Leichhardt (NSW) have such programs in place already.

To be included on the Register of Chemical Sensitive Residents and Organic Growers, visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au/register-of-chemical-sensitive-residents-and-organic-growers.

For FAQ on steam weeding, visit www.weedtechnics.com and to get your greens steamed, call Paul on 0431 331 810.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The earliest unequivocally modern human remains in Africa

There may be earlier remains of modern humans – but science is certain about these ones.

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

The Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’ to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics. 

Lung specialist ‘we’re doing the best we can’ and Hazzard lays it on the line for the unvaccinated

At this morning's COVID-19 update press conference, Concord and Nepean Hospitals lung specialist Dr Lucy Morgan gave an update on COVID-19. Dr Morgan says she works as part of a team of people looking after patients with COVID.

Lismore’s Australia Day Ambassadors

Ahead of the Australia Day celebrations Olympians Kaarle McCulloch and Kevin Chavez have been announced as Lismore’s 2022 Australia Day Ambassadors.