Eight tons of waste brought down from Everest

Save the Everest Campaign

Source: (AHN) Reporter: Anil Giri
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal Published: May 31, 2011 09:47 am EDT
Topics: Environmental Issue, Environmental Cleanup, Lifestyle And Leisure, Outdoors, Lifestyle And Leisure, Tourism

In a bid to clean up and save the world’s tallest peak, Mt Everest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, nearly 18,000 pounds of garbage, debris and waste left on Mt Everest has been brought down.

The campaign was kicked off on April 15 and concluded Sunday at Namche, a base camp of Everest.
According to Wongchu Sherpa, president of Everest Summiteers Association, 3,210 kilograms of waste will be disposed of at Namche. The remaining litter will be brought to Kathmandu for recycling and reuse.

The ambitious “Save Everest Campaign” will cost $780,000 and includes the Mt. Everest clean up, waste management and recycling. The plan also makes institutional changes, offering local training as well as project management and administration. The plan is supported by the Nepalese government, which is expected to launch tough new environmental regulations.

The trail from Lukla, the nearest airport, to Everest Base Camp and beyond is littered with oxygen cylinders, gas cartridges, tins, old tents, food, medicine, plastic, human waste and even the bodies of those who perished along the path. Every year, thousands of climbers, trekkers, and their supporters visit Everest, abandoning tons of garbage during their trip.

Sherpa said the drive was the biggest ever organized in Everest. The collected waste is largely comprised of oxygen cylinders, pipes, ropes, plastics and can bottles.

Pasang Lama, one of the 29 Sherpas involved in the campaign, said there might be some 20 tons of litter still left at Everest.
In 1992, Nepal began issuing a garbage tax to summiteers that gradually helped save the beauty and environment of Everest. In 2010, the Eco Everest Expedition, an initiative to save the mountain, brought down five tons of garbage. The same expedition has been bringing down garbage since 2008.

According to the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, about 35,000 foreign visitors accompanied by some 80,000 porters and helpers visit the Everest region every year

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Category: News @ Sagarmatha