This building is located along the road to the ice pier and Hut Point. It and the oil-fired waste incinerator inside were completed by NMCB-71 during the 1971-72 season as an attempt to, well, get rid of trash and garbage in means other than open burning or dumping on the sea ice in front of the station. There were no studies done, and this was before the days of environmental impact statements... it turns out that the Navy was putting up a similar installation at Point Barrow so they bought two (!). Once it was brought on line it was discovered that the waste generated locally (lots of food waste) was too wet and took a significant amount of fuel to burn the garbage. Also the building was poorly designed, the door of the incinerator was small and it was not very efficient to operate, or so I was told when I was at McM in December 1972. So it never was put into operation. Below, a photo of the structure being erected (these 2 photos are from the DF-72 NMCB-71 cruisebook).
Above, the building as it looked with its original siding, this photo is from Joe Warne who wintered in 1980.
Jump ahead just a few more years...in the early 1990s NSF was being hammered to reduce the open burning and other waste stockpiling at the "Fortress Rocks Landfill" so they with ASA devised a couple of incinerator projects. So...during the 1990-91 summer a new incinerator was installed in this building (and used extensively during the 1991 winter), while the other options were considered. The permanent incinerator was to be in an existing warehouse building (340) up the hill from Building 155...in the meantime another "interim" incinerator would be installed somewhere, and it ended up in Building 185 (the waste barn) despite this 1991 NSF environmental action memorandum. This unit was operated during the 1992 winter. Burning was eventually discontinued because of an environmental lawsuit...and ultimately because of the Madrid protocol. It turned out that shipping the stuff out was cheaper than building and operating an incinerator anyway. All incineration was discontinued on 22 March 1993 (Lugar, Robert M. "Results of SO2, NOx, and CO Monitoring at McMurdo Station, Antarctica," EG&G Idaho Inc., May 1993, page 1).
This structure, otherwise known as Building 183, has been expanded and modified a bit since 1972. I had a look around the outside of the building in November 2008 but I didn't have a working camera. So...below is a 2007 photo courtesy of Alan Light.
Oh, the next chapter in the incinerator story...a new unit of some sort was flown to McMurdo early in the 2011-12 season on one of the C-17's. I haven't heard a word about its intended purpose. (?)