Apart from the glory of its peak, Mount Everest has now become the world highest garbage dump and veritable graveyard where every attempt of conquer leaves behind footprints of degradable and bio degradable wastes. This truth which previously was conspired by snow is now highlighted by the melting of glaciers and is exposing waste including empty oxygen canisters, kitchen waste, beer bottles, fecal matter and dead bodies.
An estimated cost at Rs. 23 million and 12-membered team led by sherpas and Nepal army supported by number of governmental and non governmental agencies, including the Federal Ministry of culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation; Ministry of Forest and Environmental; Nepal Army; Provincial Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment; Nepal Mountaineering Association; Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee and various private entities including multinationals and non-profit organizations is organizing an ambitious 45 day clean-up campaign . This aims to collect 5000 kg of waste from everest base camp, 2000 kg from south col, and a combined 3,000 kg from camp I and II; a total of 10,000 kg of waste. Three army helicopters-two to carry garbage and one for rescue operations-will be on standby. There had also been attempt in past, where it was mandatory for every climber to come down with at least 8 kg of garbage, campaigns of Sagarmatha pollution control committee. Thus the current situation of Everest pollution has demanded a shift in attitude from ‘Leave nothing behind’ to ‘Bring back the abandoned’
The campaign will concludes on may 29, the day which is marked every year to commemorate the first summit of Everest by Edmund Hiliary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The collected waste will then be ‘showcased’ in Namche, before being ferried down to Kathmandu where it will once again be showcased on World Environment Day, June 5.