Greenhouse gas emissions from old tip at Galashiels already falling before its closure, latest figures reveal

The Easter Langlee waste transfer station at Galashiels.The Easter Langlee waste transfer station at Galashiels.
The Easter Langlee waste transfer station at Galashiels.
Latest figures reveal that 2018’s methane emissions from the now-closed Easter Langlee tip at Galashiels, though down on the year before, were the third highest in the decade up to then.

Statistics published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency reveal that the landfill site, shut down in July last year, released 384,000 kilograms of the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere the year before.

That figure for its last full year in operation was exceeded in the preceding decade only by the 451,000kg emitted in 2017 and 567,000kg in 2009.

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The 384,000kg of methane that seeped out of the landfill site, off Langshaw Road, in 2018 took the total released over the 10 years until then past the 3.6 million mark.

Methane being produced by plant and animal-derived waste decomposing in airless conditions, bosses at Scottish Borders Council are confident emissions from the tip, closed down after almost 50 years in operation to comply with a nationwide ban on landfill sites due to come into force in anuary 2021, will drop sharply from now on.

Emissions of chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons are already falling, according to the agency’s latest pollution release inventory.

The 17kg of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) leaked into the air at Easter Langlee in 2018 was less than half the 38.3kg generated the year before and also well down on 2016’s figure of 27.4kg.

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Just short of 19kg of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), mostly from fridges and freezers but also present in insulation foams, were released at Easter Langlee in 2018, down from 26.5kg in 2017 and 21.4kg in 2016.

Almost 31,000 tonnes of household waste were dumped at Easter Langlee over the course of 2018, accounting for 58.4% of rubbish collected from wheelie bins around the region.

The Easter Langlee tip has now been turned into a waste transfer site, with rubbish now being transported from there to a facility in West Lothian to be converted into fuel or recycled or south of the border to Hartlepool.