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Recycling in the Antarctic

Archiv – The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has appointed Thetford-based recycler Pearsons to handle some of the waste generated by scientists working at its survey stations at the foot of the world. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has appointed Thetford-based recycler Pearsons to handle some of the waste generated by scientists working at its survey stations at the foot of the world.
More than a third of the waste shipped out of BAS stations in Antarctica and South Georgia this year has been destined for recycling. Three truck-loads amounting to 140 cubic metres of segregated recyclables – including paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminium, steel, glass, fabric, fluorescent tubes and electrical goods – were collected at the dockside in Grimsby and dispatched to Thetford for sorting and recycling.
BAS is committed to recycling as much of its waste as possible. Waste that cannot be recycled is offloaded in the Falkland Islands for controlled landfill. Everything apart from sewage is removed from the Antarctic.
Pearson’s Managing Director Jo Pearson says of the appointment: ’We pride ourselves on being able to handle just about anything, but recycling waste from Antarctica is unusual, even for us.’€™ Pearsons was chosen by BAS because it was able to handle all recyclables generated on Antarctica. ‘€˜Previously, BAS had returned some materials to the UK for recycling, but much more had been landfilled on the Falkland Islands,’€™ he adds.
Pearsons employs 90 people and boasts annual sales of more than £8 million (Euro 11.8 million/US$ 15.1 million). The company has recently acquired a number of smaller businesses and now provides skip and recycling services to businesses, farms and householders throughout the Eastern counties of England.
BAS is a world-leading researcher into global issues from the Antarctic standpoint. It is the UK’€™s national Antarctic operator and is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council. It has an annual budget of around £40 million (Euro 59.4 million/US$ 75.6 million), runs nine research programmes and operates five research stations, two royal research ships and five aircraft in and around Antarctica.

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