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Canterbury housing estate weeded with hot foam

A trial is taking place on a city housing estate using hot foam to get rid of weeds.

Kent County Council Highways is carrying out a trial of the new technology which is said to be more environmentally friendly that traditional weed killers.

KCC highway workers using hot foam (18189800)
KCC highway workers using hot foam (18189800)

Contractors are working in Hales Place where half of estate's weeds are being tackled with the new treatment and half with herbicides.

The results of the two processes will then be monitored to compare the effectiveness of the different methods.

The trial has come about after county council members expressed concerns over the safety of using weed-killer sprays containing glyphosate because of suggestions that the chemical could be linked to some forms of cancer.

KCC’s cabinet member for highways, Mike Whiting said: "Although glyphosates are widely used and have not been banned by the Health and Safety Executive or DEFRA, we think it is right to consider members’ concerns about this issue."

He said results comparing the two processes should be available early next year.

KCC highway workers using hot foam to kill weeds (18189788)
KCC highway workers using hot foam to kill weeds (18189788)

The new treatment involves adding vegetable-based products to hot water to make a foam which is then sprayed onto the weeds.

It clings to the weed and so keeps it hotter for longer and has more time to damage the weeds vital systems.

KCC Highways first carried out similar trials with this type of method in Thanet between 2009-2015.

But since then, advancements in technology have improved its efficiency and reduced costs.

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