Scrap metal in the Russian Arctic. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Navy cleans off 5,000 waste-drums from Arctic island

Russia’s Northern Fleet sends an ecological clean-up team to Kotelny island to collect and crush oil drums dumped during the last Cold War.
May 14, 2018

A 30-men platoon sails towards Kotelny Island, one of the New Siberia Islands, in the Laptev Sea with the task to assemble 300 tons of scrap metal during the summer, the press-service of the Northern Fleet in Severomorsk informs.

200 of the 300 tons are the estimated 5,000 oil-drums to be collected, crushed and transported to the mainland for recycling. The drums were used for fuel at the Arctic military bases in the years before the breakup of the Soviet Union.

This summer is the fourth consecutive year with military cleanup campaigns on the remote located Arctic island. From different Arctic bases along the Northern Sea Route, a total of 65,000 barrels are so far collected and disposed. The scrap metal are transported back to the ports of Murmansk and Kandalaksha on the Kola Peninsula and to Arkhangelsk in the White Sea.

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