Published: Friday, 10th May 2019
The Scottish Borders is set for an environmental boost by becoming a landfill-free area, Councillors will hear next week.
Elected Members will be advised at the full Council meeting on Thursday 16 May that the landfill site at Easter Langlee near Galashiels is expected to close this summer.
It is to be replaced by a Waste Transfer Station (WTS) which will open at the same time to treat the residual waste that will then be transported to alternative treatment facilities.
It will mean the Scottish Borders has met the Scottish Government’s landfill site ban, well ahead of the January 2021 deadline, and should lead to improved recycling figures.
The Council report on 16 May will also discuss the ongoing procurement exercise to appoint a contractor to transport and treat the residual waste from the WTS. As this process remains ongoing and includes financial details from private companies, the report is required to be heard in private.
The report provides an update on the decision made by Councillors in August 2015 to close the landfill site at Easter Langlee and develop a WTS at the same location.
This decision was made following our detailed review, which concluded it was the most flexible and cost effective way forward.
“The Council manages around 42,000 tonnes of residual waste, the majority of which is from households and makes its way to Easter Langlee landfill site.
“From this summer, this waste will instead be treated at the new Waste Transfer Station and initial analysis indicates that the Council will see significant increases in recycling performance as a result of the landfill closure, which will lead to environmental benefits from a reduction of harmful greenhouse gases.
“To improve recycling rates further, we will also encourage households to continue to play their part and use our existing waste services.
“These include our weekly food waste collection service which is available in our larger communities. Use of this service means leftover food can be turned into green energy instead of harmful gases such as methane that contributes to climate change.
“There is also our bi-weekly recycling collection service provided to all 57,000 homes in the area, while residents can recycle over 50 different items at our seven community recycling centres which now have later summer weekday opening times - until 6.45pm – in place, and remain open throughout weekends until 4.45pm.”