ENVIRONMENTAL bosses at Scottish Borders Council are confident gas emissions from the landfill site near Galashiels will soon begin to drop.

As we reported before Christmas, harmful gasses had increased at Easter Langlee by alarming levels during 2017.

And there has been no evidence during last year to suggest better news will come in figures for 2018 when published.

Despite levels of methane and other dangerous emissions reducing across Scottish local authority areas in recent years, the only landfill site in the Borders has recorded continued increases.

Environmental data released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in December revealed 451,000 kilos of methane were sent into the atmosphere from the rotting garbage at Easter Langlee during 2017 - and increase of 27 percent from 2016 and more than double the level of 2011.

There were also year-on-year increases of harmful CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) and HCFCs (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) at Langlee by 39.7 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

But the local authority believes the imminent closure of the landfill site will lead to a long-term downturn in emissions.

A spokesman told us: "Easter Langlee landfill site has been operational since the 1970s and as a result emissions can vary but it is expected the closure of the landfill site later this year will have a positive impact on gas emissions in the longer term.

"The council continues to manage, extract gas and generate electricity at Easter Langlee landfill site, in accordance with national regulations and best practice, which SEPA is fully aware of."

Despite opposition, work has began on the £5 million waste transfer station on neighbouring land.

The opening of the facility, which will dispatch around 42,000 tonnes of residual waste out of the region each year, is scheduled to coincide with the closure of the landfill site.

An initial refusal to grant planning permission set the opening date back by almost a year, following strong opposition from locals concerned about the increase in heavy traffic on the narrow C77.

The council spokesman added: "The landfill site will be replaced by a new waste transfer station ahead of the landfill ban in 2021.

"Work on the station is progressing well, with the facility due to open later this year to coincide with the closure of the landfill site.

"In addition, a series of road improvements to the C77 were carried out in summer 2018 ahead of construction of the station.”