Council plays down emissions rise

The trend of reduced methane emissions from the region’s sole landfill site near Galashiels was bucked last year.

Galashiels Community Waste Recycling Centre & Easter Langlee Landfill Site.
Galashiels Community Waste Recycling Centre & Easter Langlee Landfill Site.

Data release by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) reveals that 361,000 kilograms of the natural gas were released at Easter Langlee – up by over 20% on the 300,000kg emitted in 2013.

Over the same year the amount of household rubbish dumped at the site went up from 28,821 tonnes to 30,666 tones – a hike which the council concedes is down to the withdrawal of garden waste collections in April last year.

Across Scotland the total amount of waste which was landfilled fell for the fourth successive year.

SEPA also records that 31.1kg of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and 23.9kg of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) were emitted at Easter Langlee last year, against a reporting threshold for these greenhouse gases of 1kg per annum. Responding to the SEPA data, an SBC spokesperson said: “In 2009, the council installed a landfill gas management system at Easter Langlee.

“This captured gas to power two reciprocating engines which, in turn generate between 0.6 and 0.8 megawatts of electricity; enough to support the requirements of over 600 homes.

“This is fed into the national grid and has, since 2009, generated an income of some £1m to the council.

“Since the installation of that system, the council has reduced its methane emissions at the site from a peak of 2,120,000kg in 2008 to 361,000kg last year.

“The council has recently capped and lined additional areas of landfill which will further minimise gas emission and maximise the area from which landfill gas can be collected and fed into the gas management system.

“The council has recently agreed to shut the site in 2017 and develop a waste transfer station in its place, enabling us to divert waste away from landfill and further reduce gas emissions.”