Contract Extension to Handle Diverse Waste from Polar Research : Veolia Deal to Treat Waste from British Antarctic Survey at UK Waste to Energy & Recycling Facilities

British Antarctic Survey waste recycling veolia
© British Antarctic Survey /Corbis

To ensure its research activities leave no waste in the Antarctic, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has extended the waste and recycling services remit of resource management firm, Veolia.

The French environmental services explained that the contract includes a range of specialist logistics, treatment and recycling services for the interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. This covers the operations of the many UK Research Stations, ships and aircraft that support the research activities.

BAS is a research-driven organisation recognised for the Polar research that advances the understanding of Earth and human impact on it and in particular how it is responding to ever-increasing human pressures.

The materials and waste from these activities are returned to various UK ports twice a year for specialist recycling, treatment and disposal. Under the new contract, which builds on services delivered since 2004, Veolia will provide collection and transfer from the ports to various recycling facilities using a maritime barge and support vehicles.

According to Veolia, maintaining the environment of the Polar regions and safely delivering complex operations in extreme conditions produces a diverse range of materials. These include laboratory samples, electrical equipment, commercial waste, clothing, rope, survival gear and more recently the obsolete living quarters. To meet the BAS needs, the Veolia team will back these operations with a multi-disciplined team that includes chemists, logistics and recycling specialists.

The company said that this will maximise recycling rates to boost sustainability and recover energy from non-recyclable materials in its waste to energy plants.

“The British Antarctic Survey is at the forefront of innovation in the study of human impact on the planet. As a company dedicated to lowering this impact, their activities align closely with Veolia’s own global strategy to preserve resources and lower carbon emissions with an aim of achieving a circular economy. Our continuing support for this work will help them maintain their unique work environment and protect the Polar regions.,” said Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President Veolia UK & Ireland.

Rachel Clarke, Head of Environment at the British Antarctic Survey added: “As an organisation at the forefront of environmental research we welcome innovative solutions for waste management and ways to improve our environmental performance.”

One of the vessels servicing the British Antarctic Survey is the recently completed RRS Sir David Attenborough, nicknamed Boaty McBoatface following a public competition to name the vessel. A video with some interesting info on the ship can be viewed below.

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