SUSTAINABLE URBAN WEED CONTROL: EXPERIENCES OF NON-CHEMICAL WEED CONTROL (MANUAL LABOUR, MECHANICAL AND THERMAL-FLAME WEEDING) IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF OCCHIOBELLO, ITALY
Free (open access)
751 - 759
FILIPPO MORETTO, DAVIDE DI DOMENICO
In the middle of 2015, prior than the mediatic debate on glyphosate in Italy, the Municipality of Occhiobello, aiming at fully implement the “sustainable use of pesticides – PAN fitosanitari” legislation, took the decision to definitely abandon chemical weed control in application of a precautionary principle. Uncontrolled weeds can cause problems on kerb channels and footways, damaging surface infrastructure and collecting litter. Adopting alternative methods to control weeds reduces the risks associated with herbicide use (e.g. storage, handling, use and disposal), but it can be costlier. Several areas of the municipal territory were treated with a non-chemical method and the results were assessed. Every involved area was classified according to the DEFRA (UK Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) weed level scale criteria and species before the treatment, in order to clarify the initial level of weeds both in slabs and asphalt streets. Experimental results demonstrated the level of efficacy of each treatment and its cost-effective ratio, and it was possible to identify a simple and effective graphic indicative of the case-specific necessary treatment. New achievements are expected by the end of 2017 when a whole season of both steam and flame thermal control will be concluded.
weeds, flame, non-chemical weed control, vapour, mechanical, herbicides, pesticides