The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) is responsible for implementing the Australian Government’s obligation to protect the Antarctic environment, as reflected in its vision for Antarctica as valued, protected and understood.
One of the key station aspects of our interaction with the environment is waste management. What that means to everyone on station is responsible waste management and the need to return all station waste to Australia.
One of the most gathered items on station and the hardest to return are the empty 200 litre fuel drums. To return them takes a lot of space on the ship and sometimes it is not possible to return all of the drums. Over a period of time the fuel drums at Davis stockpiled to an exceedingly large number. Problem — a large number of fuel drums; solution — a drum crusher. By crushing the drums it is possible to return to Australia eight drums in the space of one uncrushed drum.
One of the main tasks at Davis this year was the washing, crushing and readying for return to Australia of the gathered fuel drums and nearly everyone on station was expected and inducted to operate the drum crusher. Each drum takes about 6–8 minutes to be crushed and still weighs 22 kg. It is expected that all drums will be finished this summer and ready for return to Australia.