Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
Australian Antarctic Division Environmental Performance
EN11: Total amount of waste by type and destination
- Undertake an audit of the waste stream at AAD headquarters and implement appropriate waste reduction practices based on the findings by 2006
- Decommission existing waste treatment plant at Davis and explore options for replacements in 2005-06
- Continue scoping the replacement of incinerators at all stations and assessing the impact this will have on infrastructure and our footprint on the Antarctic environment
Performance 2005-06 and trends
In 2005-06, all AAD activities generated approximately 806 tonnes of waste. A significant proportion of this (61%) was waste returned from the Antarctic for disposal as part of operations to remediate previous waste disposal practices. In 2004-05, 396 tonnes of waste were generated, with 26% reused or recycled.
Waste stream auditing and subsequent waste reduction initiatives did not take place at headquarters in 2005-06. The waste treatment plant at Davis was not decommissioned, nor were options for replacement explored. No new work on replacement of station waste incinerators took place during the year.
The management of Antarctic waste is regulated by the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) (Waste Management) Regulations. Wastes are managed in accordance with the AAD environmental policy and code of conduct. Additional waste management protocols are developed where required, consistent with the requirements of the Madrid Protocol, Australian law, and AAD policy.
Non-perishable garbage, other liquid waste, and general waste materials are returned to a waste disposal facility outside Antarctica for landfill or other appropriate disposal. The volume and nature of waste returned to Australia can vary significantly from year to year depending on a number of factors, including shipping opportunities, the number of personnel present, and the work conducted each season and at each station.
AAD’s waste/resources are divided into four distinct categories based on the outcomes for the said materials:
- Reused: Materials that do not undergo reprocessing/remanufacturing but may be reused for another purpose which is beneficial and consequently saves the loss of the resource to disposal. An example is where we triple-rinsing 205-litre steel drums that are then taken away for refilling with other product(s)-therefore reused. The rinsate from drums is treated and disposed of, or reused (in the case of old fuels).
- Recycled: Where materials are taken for sorting, consolidation and sent for remanufacturing/processing. Examples include PET plastic, glass, paper, cardboard and steel. Steel drums can also be recycled because some are not in a condition to warrant safe reuse but the steel can be salvaged for recycling.
- Treated and Disposed: This applies in the main for liquid waste. For example, sewage sludge or greywater taken to a treatment plant is treated and disposed of. This also applies to some chemical wastes.
- Landfilled: Landfilled means deep buried (to meet quarantine requirements, except for Kingston/Hobart waste) with no beneficial reuse outcomes.
- Undertake an audit of the waste stream at AAD Headquarters and implement appropriate waste reduction practices based on the findings by June 2007
- Implement chemical management procedures at stations to improve handling, waste and storage by June 2007
- Continue to explore options for replacement of existing waste treatment plant at Davis
- Continue scoping the replacement of incinerators at all stations and assessing the impact this will have on infrastructure and our footprint on the Antarctic environment.
- Sustainability Report 05-06
- Executive summary
- Vision and strategy
- Our organisation
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- Report assurance statement
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