STAFF were forced to cordon off a section of Eshiels Recycling Centre last week following the discovery of dangerous asbestos.

But concerns have been raised that the rest of the compound remained open.

According to authorities asbestos waste must be disposed off at specially licensed landfill sites.

And any breaches of the strict guidelines can carry hefty fines.

Last Tuesday a quantity of the hazardous material was illegally dumped in the recycling centre's rubble skip.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council told the Peeblesshire News: “A small amount of asbestos was discovered in a rubble skip at Eshiels Recycling Centre on Tuesday.

“The skip has now been uplifted and the recycling centre can again accept rubble.”

Asbestos waste carries dangerous fibres which can cause health problems when breathed in.

And concerns have been raised that the entire recycling centre wasn't closed after the discovery.

Former environment councillor David Paterson told us: "It was brought to my attention that there was a quantity of asbestos dumped at Eshiels.

"I am also informed that the site was not even closed after it was discovered, surely this is a health and safety matter."

Recycling centre bosses did alert the local authority's safety officers.

And Scottish Borders Council bosses are confident that proper procedures were observed.

The spokesman added: "Upon its discovery, the skip was immediately closed to the public and staff on-site dealt with the material in the appropriate manner using the standard protocol which we follow when asbestos is deposited at any of our recycling facilities.

"The council’s Health and Safety team and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency were also made aware of the incident."