site.btaDay 61: Scrap Metal Cleared from Beach in Front of Bulgarian Antarctic Base
An operation is underway to clear scrap metal deposed through the years on the beach in front of the Bulgarian Antarctic base St. Kliment Ohridski, BTA learnt from Dragomir Mateev, head of logistics and research with the National Centre for Polar Studies.
Under the rules at the polar station waste is collected separately. Organic and household waste is burnt in an incinerator, transported days ago by the military research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril I Metodii (RSV Naval 421), which is part of the Bulgarian polar expedition. Metal and glass are deposed and transported outside the Antarctic for processing.
In recent years due to the lack of own transport during the Bulgarian expeditions to the Antarctic a large amount of metal waste has accumulated, including old barrels, electric generators and dead batteries, gas containers, etc. The waste has not been transported yet, but this will change, as the RSV Naval 421 will load some of the waste on its way back to Bulgaria.
Since February 23, the Bulgarian Antarctic researchers together with some crew members of the RSV Naval 421 have been working as a team and pressing the scrap metal to prepare it for transportation on board of the ship. For this purpose a hydraulic press is used, which can compress five barrels roughly to the size of one. This will allow more scrap metal to be transported out, which will be recycled at a later stage outside the Antarctic to avoid leaving an environmental footprint on the pristine nature.
RSV Naval Commander Nikolai Danailov told BTA that by carrying out this environmental friendly operation, the crew help preserve the unique nature of Antarctica and set an example which will be followed in the next years.