COUNCIL chiefs this week revealed they have hired a giant air freshener in a bid to make the rubbish dump in Galashiels smell nicer after local residents kicked up a stink. Scottish Borders Council and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency have confirmed they have launched an investigation into complaints about the unpleasant odours which appear to emanate from the landfill site at Easter Langlee.

Community councillor Tom Douglas described the stench, which can be smelt as far away as Tweedbank, as "appalling". He said: "I'm sure if my septic tank smelled like that SEPA would be right on to me." And he added: "It's particularly bad just now because there is no wind."

Scottish Borders Council said it had arranged a meeting with residents in Coopersknowe and Easter Langlee, whose homes neighbour the landfill site. And they invited a representative from SEPA to attend to address their concerns.

Speaking at this month's meeting of Melrose and District Community Council, local authority leader David Parker said: "Everyone in Tweedbank is complaining about it."

The local authority said it was working closely with SEPA to neutralise the odours.

Ross Sharp-Dent, Waste Manager at Scottish Borders Council, said: "We are working closely with Scottish Environmental Protection Agency not only to identify the exact source of the odours - but to develop an action plan to help minimise the release of landfill gases that are the most likely cause of the odour.

"The action plan includes continuing work to cap areas of the landfill and to expand the landfill gas management system. This has a number of operational benefits including the potential to reduce landfill gas emissions.

"In addition we have hired an odour control unit which sprays a fine mist of odour neutralising agent into the air. Its performance will be monitored over the coming days and weeks.

"Whilst we can not be certain, we believe the recent wet weather has played a significant part in causing the odours."