KATHMANDU, Nepal – Over a month-long Everest clean-up campaign launched by Everest Summiteers’ Association brought down on Sunday 8,110 kg rubbish collected up to an altitude of 8,700 feet from the base camp.
The drive, which cost around Rs 10.71 million (S$292,000), had taken a team of 29 local Sherpas to clear Everest of litters collected over years.
It had kicked off on April 15 and concluded on Sunday with a press conference at Namche. According to Wongchu Sherpa, chairman of the association, 3210 kg of wastes will be disposed at Namche itself and the remaining litters will be brought to Kathmandu for recycling and reuse purposes.
“Biodegradable waste products will be destroyed at Namche,” he said.
“Other non-biodegradable products such as bottles, plastics, nylon ropes, and gas cylinders, among others, will be transported to the Capital.”
Sherpa added that a press meet was organised at Namche to aware the local people of the importance of cleanliness and adverse impacts of waste products on Everest. He said the drive was the biggest one ever organised in Everest. The collected wastes mostly include oxygen cylinders, pipes, ropes, plastics and can bottles.
The campaign, co-launched by Gorkha Brewery, was assisted by other stakeholders like the government, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Laxmi Bank and Agni Air.
Pasang Lama, one of the 29 Sherpas involved in the campaign, said there might be some 20 tons of litters still left at Everest.
“However we can’t be sure of it as litters are buried beneath snow most of the times,” he said. “But with the arrival of summer, snow starts melting and the rubbish hidden beneath the layers of snow and ice start unleashing themselves.”
According to Chairman Wongchu, similar Everest clean-up drive will be launched next year as well.
-The Kathmandu Post/Asia News Network