Recycling in Antarctica

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26 Responses to “Recycling in Antarctica”

  1. Aaron Swain says:

    No one ever said that cabin fever couldn’t be fun.

  2. bcsizemo says:

    Why can’t we recycle styrofoam?  I find it extremely odd that my local waste pickup will take polystyrene products, but not styrofoam.

    I should make a waste bin for “Dreams”.  I’m pretty sure it’d be overflowing every week.

    • Jo Hunter says:

      If you mean packing peanuts, I take mine round to the local UPS/Fedex place. They love them.

      • OoerictoO says:

        yes.  do this.  any packing materials i take to my locally owned shipping place for reuse.  this is WAY more effective than recycling. 

        other styrofoam we CAN recycle, but most local pickup is not geared to deal with it.  my city has a few places where you can take styrofoam to be recycled.   it’s not very close to energy-neutral as it contains very little poly and requires a lot of energy for first as well as secondary production.

  3. Guest says:

    Dreams are an infinitely renewable resource.  It might be interesting to take the lid off the container to see what’s inside…

  4. awjt says:

    I have one recycling bin.  It’s labeled: “trash.”

  5. Robert Thombley says:

    Just to clarify, not everything in McMurdo is flown in by plane.  Some items, especially larger items in 20′ and 40′ shipping containers and fuel are brought in by ship during the summer months.

  6. E T says:

    On a larger scale this is true for all of us. There is no “away” where we can throw things. 
    4 R’s
    Refuse (to take part in consumerism)
    Reuse (the things you have)
    Reduce (purchases)
    Recycle the rest

    • OoerictoO says:

      i have the same initials, and i couldn’t agree more.  EVERYONE needs to think this way.

      but since they never will, we need to add the costs of the end product to the product.  even if, yes, in taxes on the producers/distributors .  we are all paying for this, and right now it’s disproportionately paid by the poor in bad health and tax overburden.  it’s FAR cheaper to pay for it in the beginning, than in the END

  7. Guest says:

    Camp McMurdo Craigslist

    Wanted:  One gently used dream of proud parents. Preferably in the original box.  Attachments a plus.  Willing to travel.  Price no object.  Trade’ in kind’ possible. Bonus for ‘service agreement’ with 25 years or more remaining.

  8. Layne says:

    Where’s the recycling box for unearthed, frozen alien spaceships? 

  9. jennchlebus says:

    And there he stood, calf-deep in snow in the three-month long Antarctic twilight, with a subzero wind whipping around his knees, desperately trying to do his Moral Duty of peeling the glued-on glitter off of his dreams.

  10. Miss Cellania says:

    Before I saw the difference between the “real” and the “fantasy” bins, I thought, “Cool! Cardboard bins!”

    And why not -no neighborhood dogs to tear into them, and it’s too cold to rot. But, alas, a good wind would take them away. And some stuff might contain liquid, at least for a short time.

    • Alan Light says:

      The cardboard bins (tri-walls) with plywood tops are standard for many categories.  Only the paint and stencils have been changed.  Some of the bins (like food waste) are lined with very heavy duty plastic bags.

      Joke categories are also traditional, though traditionally only represented by fake signs in the collection areas inside buildings – and I’ve never seen so many at once.

      Heavy winds have been known to move or turn over the tri-walls.  However, except for a few categories such as scrap metal, everything is bagged before it is put in the bins – so it is not as much of a mess as one might fear.

      The really fun part is that it seems like at least once a year the categories, or what goes in each category, is changed.

      Inside bins here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/alan_light/6334186279

  11. Rick & Ann Kaiser says:

    I work on the other end of the world from Henry Kaiser, on the oil fields of the North Slope of Alaska. Up here, like down there, we also have extensive and often complex recycling and reuse rules.  However, we do have the advantage of a local landfill and burn most of our non-recycleable waste to reduce its volume before burying it. Everything that can be recycled or reused or is a hazardous waste is shipped out. We don’t have bins for unicorn blood however as it would attract the polar bears.

  12. Renaissance Guitars says:

    I built a couple of guitars that Henry took on his first trip to Antarctica when he went down there as an NSF “artist in residence”.    The year before, he called me up and asked, “Rick, on what continent has a record album never been made?”   “Antarctica!”   And so I designed “Miss Antarctica”, a guitar that is a combination of very stable woods and carbon fiber reinforcements.   For the underwater guitar shots, though, he used an all carbon fiber instrument…  

  13. Kyle McManus says:

    Hey, I’m an environmental educator and this looks just like the type of thing I’d like to introduce to my students.
    However, the provided links are kinda sparse.

    Does anyone have a link to a larger version, or a google doc or word doc, of the USAP Trash Matrix page?
    I’ve found a gigapan shot of a recycling bin that I’ll def. use:
    http://gigapan.org/gigapans/26942/

    As well as another supporting article here (about trash and art!)
    http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/features/contenthandler.cfm?id=1755

    Any other links for content that could support this would be great.

    Thanks,
    Kyle

  14. BigBeautyBoy says:

    O.K. Enough already! Where’s Sandwich Girl?

  15. Mike Benza says:

    This town might have more strict recycling: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7499954.stm

  16. david tulloh says:

    I’m current at Australia’s Davis station.  We have:
     *  Burnables
     *  Wet burnables (mostly kitchen waste)
     *  Hydroponics
     *  Recycling (cans, tins, glass, etc.)
     *  Scrap Metal
     *  Scrap Wood
     *  Cardboard
     *  Paper
     *  Batteries
     *  RTA (Return to Australia) – everything else

    Most of the buildings have three rubbish bins near the door:  recycling, burnables and RTA.

    Most rooms have two bins: burnables and RTA.

    It’s fairly intuitive and mostly necessary.  We burn all we can because it’s expensive to ship it home.  The scraps are useful for the trades teams, and fairly common in that industry.  And recycling is important because caring for the environment makes people happy.

  17. idontwantafukin says:

    Rubbish, my friend spent 3 years at Signey and all they recycled was beer into piss.
    The pics of the 2 foot pool cues because the pool room was stacked two crates deep and to the roof  was hilarious.

  18. bo1ngbolnguser001 says:

    where is the separate bin for urine soaked dreams?

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