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Borders seeks waste alternatives after NES project scrapped

Scottish Borders Council is seeking to treat its waste outside the region following the upcoming closure of the Easter Langlee landfill site.

A report to be presented at a council meeting on 27 August recommends the construction of a waste transfer station at the Easter Langlee site, from where waste will be sent on to external waste processing facilities.

The recommendation follows the cancellation of a £23m gasification and pyrolysis plant near Galashiels in February, partly due to changes in Scotland’s national waste management strategy which placed a greater focus on recycling.

New Earth Solutions (NES), which was to manage the 24-year contract, has since fallen into difficulties after financial problems with its Avonmouth energy recovery facility.

The Easter Langlee landfill is estimated to reach its capacity in the second half of 2017. The transfer station will help the council to meet Scottish policy which includes a ban on municipal biodegradable waste going to landfill from January 2021.

A council spokesperson said: “Following the termination of the NES contract in February 2015, Scottish Borders Council has been required to review the implications on Easter Langlee landfill and its management of residual waste.

“The report recommends that the site is closed in 2017, and that a waste transfer station is developed at Easter Langlee to take its place. The landfill will subsequently be restored and waste will be transported out of the Borders to alternative treatment facilities in order to comply with the 2021 landfill ban.

“This option is considered to represent the most flexible and cost effective way forward for the council at the current time. It will also provide time for the development of the council’s new waste management plan.”

The report states that the development of a permanent waste treatment facility will be considered and evaluated during the development of the new plan.

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