The Great Everest Clean-Up

Travel Blog  •  Joanna Kakissis  •  03.18.09 | 12:13 PM ET

Photo by Kappa Wayfarer via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The climate-change watchdog group Eco Everest hauled off 2,100 pounds of trash and human waste from Mount Everest last year and is now paying visitors $1.00 per pound for waste removed from the mountain, according to Outside and Rock and Ice magazine.

The Nepalese have recently tried to prevent dumping by withholding a $4,000 trash deposit from climbers who leave rubbish on the 29,028-foot peak. But there still a lot of waste up there from previous expeditions—enough to inspire a documentary and an artist who recycles discarded oxygen bottles into eco-provocative bowls, bells and ornaments.

Joanna Kakissis's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, among other publications. A contributor to the World Hum blog, she's currently a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

2 Comments for The Great Everest Clean-Up

Cate 03.20.09 | 10:39 PM ET

It’s good to see there is ongoing work being carried out to clean up Everest; not just on the mountain but also the surrounding valleys and lower lying lands as well.

Unfortunately the mountain has two sides, while the Nepalese side is predominately busier than the Tibetan side, it’s the latter that has a considerable amount of rubbish.Although I can’t speak about rubbish on Everest, the foothills and valleys leading up to Everest should be of concern to environmentalists.Travel to Everest on the Tibetan side is breathtakingly beautiful but also disappointing as your eyes try and glaze over the refuse, rubbish and squalor - remnants of travellers, locals, and climbers. Hopefully attention has been drawn to this, although I’m unaware of it.

Thanks for the update.

Traveler 03.24.09 | 11:54 PM ET

I just read a long novel named Tibet Code and are very long to trekking there.  But lost of tourists do not take care of the environment around. Hope each of us be aware of that, then we have a nice living place to stay.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.