WASTE bosses at Scottish Borders Council believe it will cost around £50 million to dispose of the region's rubbish over the next 10 years.

And one critic of the scheme believes they are just adding insult to injury with the colossal price tag.

After the failure, at a cost of £2.4 million, to establish a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant at Easter Langlee six years ago the local authority has forged ahead with alternative plans to create a Waste Transfer Station on the same site.

And bosses are now inviting companies to bid for a £50 million contract to remove, treat and dispose of the rubbish after it has been collected at the station near Galashiels.

The tendering notice reveals that around 42,000 tonnes of residual waste will need to be removed each year.

It states: "The majority of this waste is deposited at Easter Langlee landfill site which is owned and operated by the authority.

"A decision was taken not to expand the Easter Langlee landfill site once its current capacity is exhausted (by mid-2019) but instead develop a new Waste Transfer Station in its place.

"This will enable the authority to comply with the ban on sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill which comes into effect from January 1, 2021 by exporting waste out of the Borders for treatment and disposal.

"The authority is looking for a haulage, treatment and disposal solution that provides a reliable and robust means of managing contract waste from mid-2019."

The contract will be divided into four sections - municipal residual waste, bulky residual waste, commercial and demolition waste, and street cleansing waste.

Local journalist Bill Chisholm, who has been a strong critic of Scottish Borders Council's costly waste strategy, believes the £50 million contract is not only taxing on the region's carbon footprint but also on local bill payers.

He told us: "The financial implications for Borders local government appear likely to run into many millions of pounds thanks to the decision to get into a bed with debt-ridden New Earth Solutions and then to pass up the chance to construct a tried and tested form of waste disposal facility to serve the region.

"The option of exporting residual waste out of the Borders by road was dismissed on grounds of cost during a project analysis of various options undertaken in 2009/10.

"But in the absence of a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant and with an end to landfill looming large it now appears to be the only game in town.

"The annual cost will be £5 million, and research and calculations show the cost of transporting and treating the residual waste will work out at £119 per tonne.

"Figures linked to the proposal to build a Mechanical Biological Treatment plant to divert the residual waste from landfill show the cost per tonne would have been just £83 per tonne.

"The £119 figure now in prospect is some 29.8% higher than the Mechanical Biological Treatment facility costing.

"The savings over a year when the two disposal methods are compared is £1.512 million in favour of the MBT which adds up to £15.140 million in 10 years."