Hot foam weed killer on West Quay

Extensive trials into an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional weed killers carried out by Lewes District Council in partnership with local authority specialist Burleys have been hailed a success.

The organisations carried out a six month project trialling various green options to help the authority achieve its aim of eliminating pesticides from all public areas of the town including parks and social housing. The overwhelming winner was a ground breaking technique which eliminates unwanted flora with super heated foam.

Royal warrant holder Burleys, part of the wider TCL Group which was recently named one of the London Stock Exchange’s 1,000 companies to Inspire Europe, is anticipating strong demand for other local authorities and public bodies after the successful pilot.

The award winning system, Foamstream, developed by environmentally friendly weed control experts Weedingtech, uses a combination of hot water, steam and natural foam to ‘cook’ weeds and kill them.

The near boiling point natural foam, approved by the Soil Association, acts as a thermal blanket, keeping heat on the weed long enough to kill it. It also contains a wetting agent which enables the thermal energy to penetrate the weeds’ waxy exterior walls, rupturing the cells, killing them quickly. Some die within minutes, with others taking a day or two. A second application can eliminate taproots.

An unexpected bonus is that the foam can also eliminate graffiti and remove chewing gum from pavements.

The biodegradable organic system is safe to use near watercourses and in children’s playgrounds, is carbon negative and can be used in inclement weather.

The foam is naturally derived from glucose and fat (otherwise known as alkyl polyglycoside), coconut, palm kernel and rapeseed oils from renewable sources, potato, wheat and maize.

Burleys contracts manager Mark Tavener explained: “Foamstream is great for weeds, small woody growth like ragwort and for killing moss in places like tennis courts and play areas – and is excellent value.”

Burleys has won a number of awards for its community mindedness and sustainability including Most Sustainable Business in the Sussex Business Awards and Green Business of the Year in the Lewes District Business Awards.