Wildlife and environment
Northern Fleet personnel remove waste from Kotelny Island faster than planned
© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov

Northern Fleet personnel remove waste from Kotelny Island faster than planned

During their one-month tour of duty on Kotelny Island, members of an environmental platoon from the Northern Fleet have compacted 14,000 200-liter metal drums and prepared them for shipment to the mainland, RIA Novosti reports. The cleanup is ahead of schedule, said Captain Second Class Andrei Luzik, Acting Chief of the Northern Fleet's Press Service.

"Twenty-nine platoon members are working hard and compacting about 500 barrels daily. They have compacted over 14,000 200-liter metal drums in a month and prepared them for shipment to the mainland. They are going faster than planned," Luzik noted.  

Northern Fleet personnel started compacting metal drums last year for easier and faster transportation. Over 20,000 drums were pressed flat in 2015.

Hydraulic presses can flatten thin-wall drums to about ten times less than their original size, and thick-wall drums are pressed to about three or four times less volume. Obviously, the flattened drums occupy much less space in freight containers. Apart from collecting, compacting and stockpiling empty drums, the service personnel moved derelict Soviet-era equipment and other metal waste to scrap metal collection sites.

"Members of the environmental platoon are to complete their tour of duty on Kotelny Island in September. Northern Fleet and specially chartered ships will transport the scrap metal elsewhere via the Northern Sea Route during the summer navigation season," Luzik added.

Last summer, the island was littered with over 120,000 metal drums that were used to store and deliver petroleum, oil and lubricants in Soviet times.