Myrtle Spurge. Bohemian knotweed. Medusahead. Camelthorn. No, these aren’t the latest craft beers, they are all considered noxious weeds in the state of Colorado. The state of Colorado has designated specific plants as noxious weeds because the plants present a threat to natural or agricultural lands, including Boulder’s beautiful open spaces. Noxious weeds are plants that are not native to Colorado and can disrupt native vegetation and ecosystems. Their removal and control is important to protect drinking water supply, agricultural crops, pasture lands and native habitats. And for some of these noxious weeds, those classified as “List A” weeds, they are required by state and city regulations to be removed from your property. List A species of particular interest in Boulder are myrtle spurge, purple loosestrife, knotweed (Bohemian, Giant, and Japanese), and Mediterranean sage.
These noxious weeds present Western Disposal with a challenge. While our compost process kills weed seeds and pathogens due to the high temperatures generated during the process, there are still opportunities for weed seeds and vegetative propagules (such as root fragments) to spread either through the grinding or hauling process. Due to this, the State Department of Agriculture recommends that all List A noxious weeds be placed in plastic bags and placed in the trash, not in your compost bin and not dropped off as yard waste at our facility. This can help ensure that these weeds are eradicated and not given a chance to spread.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has plenty of information, including pictures and descriptions of noxious weeds at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agconservation/noxious-weed-species