Mt. Everest has become a giant garbage dump and a new rule for climbers requires them to pack not just their own trash but requires an additional 8 kg or 18 lbs in trash to come back down the famous mountain (per person), or the Mt. Everest Trash Heap as it is being called.
Mt. Everest Trash is a Dirty Secret
The weight climbers will be required to turn in at the Mt. Everest base camp does not include the weight of their own personal waste and refuse.
They may not hold you captive on the mountain, but according to the tourism board of Nepal, the consequences will be severe both legally and financially.
There is at least 50 tons of trash left on Mt. Everest from disrespectful or ignorant hikers from over 6,000 expeditions over the course of the last 60 years.
News of Mt. Everest’s dirty little secret has prompted numerous eco-tours to the iconic mountain of mountains to do something to help. The Eco Everest Expedition group has brought down 13 tons alone since 2008.
Climbing Mt. Everest is a survival of the fittest for us humans, yet the extreme climate makes even biodegradable material take decades longer to break down.
Tourism including to Mt. Everest is important to Nepal’s economy, the honor system had been used in previous years asking climbers to “pack light” and “pack your trash”, which obviously did not work.
Some expeditions were charged $4,000 for a garbage “deposit” which would be refunded upon the delivery of their trash to base camp, but that too did not work and was rarely enforced.
The situation has gone from bad to rotten, as some claim Mt. Everest to be the world’s tallest garbage dump, instead of Earth’s highest mountain.
Turning Trash to Treasure
A group of 15 Nepalese artists started a project last year called the “Mt. Everest 8848 Art Project”, which amassed 1.5 tons of the trash brought down by climbers last year. The group made art pieces from the trash and sold them at an exhibition in Kathmandu last year. Those proceeds went directly to the Everest Summit Association who in just the last 2 years has brought down 10 tons of trash.
Did you already know about the giant Mt. Everest Trash Heap?
Feature image By Ryszard Paw?owski via Wikimedia Commons.