Arctic clean-up continues

Volunteers removing old fuel barrels on Bely Island (Photo from the expedition's group in Vkontakte)

Russia’s grand-scaled environmental clean-up of Arctic territories will continue also in 2014. From the island of Bely, 365 tons of garbage has been removed by volunteers this summer.


In course of the last two years 365 tons of metal scrap and other garbage has been collected and removed from Bely Island to the north of the Yamal Peninsula, the Yamalo-Nenets administration’s web site reads. The project is part of the Russian federal program “Removal of accumulated ecological damaged”, to which $70 million have been allocated in the period 2012-2014.

Since the 1930’ies huge amounts of metals scraps, empty barrels, vehicles and other things have piled up on Bely Island in the Kara Sea.

When the clean-up operation is finished in 2016, Yamalo-Nenets authorities plan to establish a subdivision of the International Research Center of the Arctic on the island. The center is based in Salekhard.

Russia is also conducting large clean-up campaigns in other parts of the Arctic. On Franz Josef Land, students spent two months this summer removing 265 tons of barrels and scrap, as BarentsObserver reported.