'The Western Morning News' newspaper is quite good at producing what I call 'behind the scenes' reports. By that I mean accounts of things that can be related to major news stories but is perhaps not the hard news itself, something more akin to magazine journalism. A week ago they did an article on the clean-up operations on the Napoli containers taken to Portland. Anyone reading this blog can see I have been fairly immersed in the MSC Napoli story and I am interested in events happening off the main stage so to speak.
In the WMN article there is a detailed description of how, in particular, those containers that became contaminated are dealt with. These containers are apparently washed down in a contained area, the resulting mix of water and oil going into a separator. The water can then be reused but the oil is sent by tanker to Falmouth for processing, so at least we get some work for Cornwall out of it!
Waste from the containers is dispatched to six different centres across the UK, depending on exactly the material is. Undamaged containers can of course be reused but the rest are cut up for scrap.
Robin Middleton, the man from the Ministry, who has coordinated the whole salvage operation from the start, is quoted as saying of the Portland operation "This is the best and biggest example of this happening in the world. To have created the area and got it up to environmental standards on what was an overgrown football pitch is just unbelievable". In the very earliest days of the Napoli beaching and salvage story I saw Mr Middleton being interviewed on TV and was immediately impressed by his quiet but confident authority.
I was pleased to read the article as it has helped me get a more rounded picture of the Napoli saga.