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    Hi – just new to the site .. how is the wastage both human and general rubbish delt with .. and is there much socializeing with the other reserch centres on the ice.?


    When I was down there in the 70’s we still just put our stuff in the dump at the base of the hill in Mcmurdo. We had what we called ‘pee barrels’ outside the back entrance to some of the buildings we lived in. A funnel was attached to a hose that ran outside to the hole in the barrel. When the barrels were full a forklift would come and take them to  a staging area and bring another metal barrel to replace it. After the winter, we would take the barrels out onto the ice shelf and line them up at intervals along the runway we had prepared for the first summer flight. The radar on the planes could bounce back off the metal barrel and the pilots could safely line up the airplane for landing. When the ice went out the barrels sank. We also had a wastewater treatment plant that treated other waste before pumping it into the Mcmurdo Sound. That was before we realized how bad these things were for the enviroment. I know that now the garbage is backloaded to the U.S. in the containers that bring down supplies every summer on the resupply ship. Not sure what they do with the human waste nowaday’s though. Good question. As for socializing, in Mcmurdo you can go over a small hill to the New Zeland base and socialize. Not so easy at all the other bases though because of the logistics, weather etc… Since the scientists are there for research, and the summer season is so short to accomplish their research, not as much socializing goes on as you might expect. Long days and nights of research, eat, sleep and go back to work.


    I believe it was two years ago that they built the Waste Water Treatment Plant. It is a modern day treatment facility. After the waste is treated it is then poured into the day.
    There is no longer a dump here. They feel as if it was affecting the area too much and the Skuas life style. All garbage is now boxed up and sent home via vessel. Oil from the heavy shop is no longer dumped into the bay either. Supposidly we are a faily low impact base now. It there is an oil spill or JP8 spill it is all cleaned up.
    Around a month or so ago we had 8000 gallons of fuel spill out on the run way. At one time they would have just let it go, but now adays they spend the time and resources on picking it all up. They figure they picked up just over 7000 gallons. Any spill over 50 gallons is recoreded and goes to Washington.

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