The Scottish Borders has taken the next step towards being a landfill-free area with the procurement of a new residual waste contract.

Levenseat Limited have been awarded the contract which involves the transport and treatment of the 42,000 tonnes of residual waste produced in the Borders each year.

The residual waste will be collected from Scottish Borders Council’s Waste Transfer Stations (WTS) – including a new purpose built facility at Easter Langlee near Galashiels. The waste will then be transported to Levenseat’s site in West Lothian, where the majority of the waste will be treated to produce a refuse derived fuel – to generate heat and electricity – as well as recover materials which can be recycled.

This new arrangement will commence on Monday 1 July and means the end of landfilling operations at Easter Langlee after almost 50 years. It also means the Scottish Borders will meet the Scottish Government’s landfill site ban, well ahead of the January 2021 deadline, and should lead to improved recycling figures. The decision to close the landfill site at Easter Langlee and develop a Waste Transfer Station at the same location was made by Councillors in August 2015.

This decision was made following a detailed review by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), which concluded it was the most flexible and cost effective way forward for the Council.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted that we now have a contract in place to allow the Scottish Borders to become a landfill-free area and meet the Scottish Government’s 2021 deadline.

“This decision will see a reduction in harmful greenhouse gases from landfilling the waste and we believe it will also result in an improved recycling performance. Households and families should continue to play their part to divert recyclable materials from their black bins – helping the local environment and saving public funding – by using our range of recycling services. These include an alternate weekly recycling collection service provided to all homes in the Scottish Borders, food waste collection service available in six communities and the seven community recycling centres across the area which are open til 6.45pm during the summer”

“We have also produced a handy reminder in our SBConnect magazine out next month to help residents put the right waste in the right bin. We look forward to working in partnership with Levenseat in the coming years to ensure the Scottish Borders deals with its waste in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible.”

Angus Hamilton, Levenseat Managing Director, said: “Levenseat is excited to be working with Scottish Borders Council and helping to provide a sustainable solution for a number of materials previously lost to landfill. Award of this contract has been achieved after a great deal of hard work by both parties and forms a key part of Levenseat’s objectives as a company to reduce landfill in Scotland.

“We are delighted to be given this opportunity to work with Scottish Borders Council, and by sharing expertise, enthusiasm and a target of achieving both zero landfill and maximising recycling we aim to provide the best service possible.”