Cllr McCarthy: Push to Phase out Herbicides in Public Areas

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed Cork City Council’s Parks and Recreation Division undertaking of trials researching various alternatives to herbicides. The research during the past three years has concluded that the alternatives are less effective and more costly. The alternatives included steam jet application, electric strimmer and organic herbicides. The disadvantage of the alternatives is that the control increases from one operation per year up to four for any one of the alternatives. That said the alternatives are by far more environmentally friendly in terms of greater biodiversity and pollinator friendly amenity areas.

Cllr McCarthy noted: “The Marina and The Atlantic Pond areas are core areas I have had phonecalls on and questions on the use of herbicide. The Roads Department are cognisant of general concerns regarding the use of glyphosate and have been conducting trials in the last three years with contractors using non-glyphosate products. These trials have incrementally ramped up to the point that in 2021 these trials cover 140km of the public road network, i.e., 28% of the road network. In the coming months, an evaluation of these trials will be completed with respect to effectiveness and costs, with a view to expanding the overall percentage of network treated with non-glyphosate products in 2022”.

“Providing the trials are deemed successful, contractors with effective non-glyphosate products are available, and costs match Council budget allocation, it is the Roads Departments intention to proceed with non-glyphosate products in the future treatment of the City’s road network”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.