The Green Apple Awards were presented at The House of Commons yesterday (6 November) at a prize-winning ceremony hosted by The Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt MP, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry and Minister for Women.
The waste dump was a legacy of the early days of British science activity in the Antarctic in the 1960's and 1970's, before new regulations controlling waste removal came into place with the Antarctic Treaty Environmental Protocol. The clean up took place near the remote BAS summer field station at Fossil Bluff, Alexander Island on the Antarctic Peninsula.
The 500k clean up was part of a partnering agreement between BAS and British Construction Company AWG Construction Services. In total over 50 tonnes of waste including hundreds of fuel drums, an engine block and general rubbish was removed. Hazardous wastes such as lead-acid batteries, medical syringes and asbestos were also cleared away. The wastes were first flown to Rothera Research Station and then shipped to the Falklands Islands or UK for recycling or safe disposal.
BAS Environment Officer, Dr John Shears, says, "We are delighted to win a Gold Green Apple Award. The BAS is committed to protecting the Antarctic environment and we hope that other nations working in the Antarctic will follow this example of environmental best practice".