CRJ Services’ McCloskey R155 Deck Screener assists with Japanese Knotweed eradication

ATG Group was formed in 2006, offering tailored solutions to environmental and waste challenges experienced by residential and commercial clients. Initially based in Ireland, ATG Group have expanded to operate across the whole of the UK & Ireland.

Using the latest technologies, ATG Group cover land remediation, contaminated water treatment, invasive plant species eradication and spill solutions.

ATG group had been contracted into a development site in Birmingham, tasked with the eradication of Japanese Knotweed (JKW) from the site.

Japanese Knotweed is a common invasive plant species that can wreak havoc with buildings and construction projects. Its rapid growth, and large strands can aggravate structural issues within buildings and can grow through existing weaknesses.

Due to its destructive nature, the species has been listed on the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981), under schedule 9. This means it is an offence for anyone to plant or to otherwise cause it to grow in the wild.

Having JKW on site is enough to shut down construction and can prevent mortgages being granted on residential properties. When preparing a site for development, developers must first ensure that there is no JKW present, and if found, they must eradicate it before construction can go ahead.

Traditional eradication technologies would include ‘dig and dump’ which is a costly process, as the material is classified as a controlled waste. In-situ treatment with herbicides is another option but can take 5-7 years to complete.

ATG are specialists in invasive plant eradication, and for this project they utilised their Eraginate® process, which involves removing above ground vegetation, excavation of the impacted soils which is then segregated, and plant and rhizome matter removed via a picking line. The resulting soil is then processed with specialist herbicides applied to any remaining fragmented rhizomes to ensure eradication of the problematic plant species.

To complete this process, the excavated soil needed to be screened into 3 fractions for further processing. ATG had previously hired equipment from CRJ Services for previous projects, and they returned to CRJ for a screening solution. After discussions and a site visit, to inspect the soil type and material, it was agreed that the McCloskey R155 deck screener would be the ideal machine for the job.

The McCloskey R155 is a robust mobile deck screener, capable of dealing with heavy, untreated applications. Its top deck is made up of layers of ‘fingers’ which separate the large hardcore from the material stream. The remaining material falls through the fingers and is then vibrated down a mesh screen, which then separates the material into a fine and mid-sized fraction.

The screened soil then passes through ATG’s picking station where any Japanese knotweed or rhizome material is removed and sent to a licensed waste disposal facility. The remaining soil is then processed through a special excavator attachment, which sprays any remaining fragmented rhizome material with specialist herbicides. The resultant treated material can then be reused on-site, with the hardcore being utilised within the construction process.

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