Green: Airline to take a dump over countryside

2009-03-31 00:00

Johannesburg — In an effort to lighten its load and save on fuel costs in increasingly constricted operating conditions, the airline Kulula will be dumping its processed sewage over uninhabited areas at high altitudes.

The airline said the initiative will have a “double-whammy effect” of saving the environment by producing fewer carbon emissions as well as literally greening the earth. “Onboard sewage is traditionally stored in four tanks that are emptied at the various airports during its turnaround in between flights. The tanks each have a storage capacity of 200 litres of processed waste,” said Gidon Novick, the airline’s joint CEO. Dumping the contents will mean a significant saving in fuel burn and carbon emission, he said.

The waste will be sprayed into the air and incorporated into the atmosphere by natural processes and reach the ground as part of normal rain.

Novick said independent scientists have proved that this method of waste disposal will also counter the harmful effects of acid rain by neutralising the rain’s pH levels.

Due to the extremely low temperatures of about -50°C at altitudes of 30 000 feet, any pathogens that the disinfectant used in the tanks may have missed are killed, making the disposal method a safe one, he said.

“I suspect that our new idea will cause a stink with other airlines who will be kicking themselves for not thinking of it first,” said Novick.

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