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Research rubbish gives headaches

Old trash from research has caused this reindeer a lot of problems. FOTO: Gouvenor of Svalbard

Research rubbish gives headaches

Waste from scientists who do not clean up after themselves has been a problem in Svalbard.

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04.07.2014 kl 12:14

Around Kongsfjorden and beyond to Brøggerhalvøya, Kings Bay is now starting with a large-scale registrar of debris from researchers who have brought gear and let it stand.

Research Consultant Sébastien Barrault said they are asking research stations located in Ny-Ålesund to report the equipment located out in the terrain.

"What is not being reported on is being taken in," said Barrault, who on several occasions has encountered animals stuck in discarded equipment.

"Two to three summers ago there was a reindeer stuck in a wire," he said. "We also have a researcher who reported birds that had become stuck in old ropes. It irritates me that they have let it go, for it is irresponsible and because it poses a danger to the animals."

Head of the Environmental department, Guri Tveito confirm old sins from researchers are a problem. She said she hopes land-use authorities will follow up on belongings that are registered within Longyearbyen's planning area.

"But outside the town's plan area we observe some belongings," she said. "Some are labeled and some are not, and we clear up that we come across. Four years ago we introduced requirements for labeling and cleanup metering devices to be deployed in the field, and we provide only one-year permits. So we expect that there will won't be more, but old sins are still a part of it."

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