TACK­LING THE TRASH MOUN­TAIN

Action Asia - - NEWS & VIEWS -

As the num­ber of climbers on Ever­est has in­creased year-by-year, so too has the amount of trash that needs to be dis­posed of af­ter­wards. On the Nepal side, the Bio­gas Pro­ject by Engi­neers With­out Bor­ders hopes to build a hu­man waste in­cin­er­a­tor in Go­rak Shep by next spring. As the high­est vil­lage be­fore Base Camp, this small set­tle­ment of 50 peo­ple gen­er­ates more than 11,800kg of hu­man waste an­nu­ally, pos­ing a se­vere risk to lo­cal wa­ter sources. China has also upped its en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­forts, claim­ing that it has re­trieved 8,500kg from the Ever­est area since April this year. This in­cludes house­hold waste, hu­man fe­ces and moun­taineer­ing trash, ac­cord­ing to state-run Global Times. The pa­per also says that since 2015, ev­ery climber must re­turn with a min­i­mum of 8kg of trash and will be fined US$100 for each kilo­gram they are short. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties also plan to in­stall en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly toi­let and waste col­lec­tion sites. “Are there cer­tain com­pa­nies or peo­ple who just don’t care?,” asks Sa­tori’s Daniel Nash rhetor­i­cally. “Of course there’s al­ways go­ing to be. But I think most of the com­pa­nies here make sure they’re not just re­spon­si­ble for their own ac­tions, their own waste, but they also help oth­ers if need be. We want to pro­tect the moun­tain that we love and work on, and we’re go­ing to do that whether or not there’s a rule in place.”

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