Despite the unanimous vote by the Dover city council for a Commitment to Organic Land Management Practices this February the vendor will be spraying glyphosate based herbicide along the curb lines of our downtown area streets, sidewalks and parking areas on or around the first week of June, July, August, and September.
City staff chose option A. The product is listed on the bid is Roundup Pro. The right-of-way special permit lists Roundup Pro Max and Rodeo, both glyphosate based herbicides, and Reward herbicide active ingredient diquat dibromide. Recently, along with Non Toxic Portsmouth, we identified steam weeding as a cost effective and safer option to using herbicides. Since this is something the city must look into and test before making a purchase, we proposed that in the interim, the city ask that the vendor uses horticultural vinegar as it is a less expensive and least toxic option. Horticultural vinegar or acetic acid is listed by the Bio-Integral Resource Center, a non profit IPM organization, as a least toxic chemical control of weeds on their directory. It is also listed as compatible with organic land management.
Sadly, the vendors rebuffed this suggestion, and we have yet to hear anything more. We find this unacceptable, as we should not be allowing the vendors to dictate policy to us under any circumstances. The city decided on a grub control product back in 2014 and instructed that be used instead of neonicotinoid insecticides – why can that not be done here? Dover is violating their own policy by choosing to use Roundup Pro.
During the recent turf bid discussion, the Director of Community Services was kind enough to offer residents the ability to ask to opt out of curbside weed control in front of their homes. He speaks about it here at 50 minutes.
Are you on the spray route? Here is the list of streets that are usually sprayed, however residents whose streets were not on this list have spotted contractors spraying in the past, so please keep that in mind. Spraying has occurred late in the fall season as well. Click on the photos to enlarge.
We ask residents that if you do opt out that you consider being willing to manage your own curb line to help the city by hand pulling or weed whacking. A propane torch (flame weeder) would also do the trick when used responsibly. Please note that it would be illegal for a resident to spray any type of herbicide without a special permit from the state. Please exercise caution when removing weeds, especially near busy roads.
To opt out of spraying, contact Community Services at (603) 516 – 6450.