in

Photos reveal piles of tourists' trash on Mount Everest


The shocking true impact of tourism on Mount Everest has been laid bare in photos that reveal where the rubbish really ends up.

Mountain geologist Alton Byers said the mountain itself was kept comparatively clear by much-publicised clean up expeditions every year.

However, he said a lot of waste generated by tourists was simply being burned and buried, leaving locals actually ‘running out of flat land to use as landfills’. 

The shocking true impact of tourism on Mount Everest has been laid bare in photos that reveal where the rubbish really ends up

The shocking true impact of tourism on Mount Everest has been laid bare in photos that reveal where the rubbish really ends up

A lot of waste generated by tourists was simply being burned and buried, leaving locals actually 'running out of flat land to use as landfills'

A lot of waste generated by tourists was simply being burned and buried, leaving locals actually ‘running out of flat land to use as landfills’

He said: ‘For decades the publicity has always focused on garbage in the Everest base camp and on annual ‘clean up expeditions’.’

‘A lot of this I consider to be cosmetic since it can be easily picked up and carried out.

‘The real problem is the tons and tons of plastics, beer cans, whiskey bottles, steel food containers, and other solid waste the lodge owners import. 

‘They import this to satisfy the demands of the 50,000 tourists who now visit the park annually – easily rising to 100,000 non-Sherpa visitors when you add porters.’ 

He continued: ‘This is referred to as ‘burnable garbage’ by lodge owners, who dump it into landfills, burn it when it’s full and then bury the landfill. 

The problem is the  tons of plastics, beer cans, whiskey bottles, steel food containers, and other solid waste the lodge owners import

The problem is the tons of plastics, beer cans, whiskey bottles, steel food containers, and other solid waste the lodge owners import

The waste is to satisfy the demands of the 50,000 tourists who now visit the park annually ¿ easily rising to 100,000 non-Sherpa visitors including porters

The waste is to satisfy the demands of the 50,000 tourists who now visit the park annually – easily rising to 100,000 non-Sherpa visitors including porters

‘The problem is that burning it releases toxic poisons into the air, and the buried and burned garbage does the same for groundwater supplies, contaminating both. 

‘One lodge owner in Dingboche said that they were ‘running out of flat land to use as landfills’. 

‘It’s probably an exaggeration but if you walk a short distance from that lodge toward the river, the river terrace looks like a moonscape with all of the new and old landfill scars.’ 

Landfill pits range in size from 270 to 2,150 square feet – and there could be hundreds of them. 

Dr Byers, from the University of Colorado Boulder, added that a lot of tourists were being made sick because of human waste being dumped into local rivers. 

‘Most lodges have leaky septic systems, or the outhouses are near or directly over streams,’ he said. 

A lot of tourists were being made sick because of human waste being dumped into local rivers

A lot of tourists were being made sick because of human waste being dumped into local rivers

A giant pile of beer bottles stacked up against a rock on the road to the Barun Valley

A giant pile of beer bottles stacked up against a rock on the road to the Barun Valley

‘The 12,000lbs of human waste generated each season at the Everest base camp is dumped into pits in seasonal water courses, and this accounts for the large numbers of visitors getting sick.’ 

The Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, which deals with waste on the Nepalese side of the mountain, told Dr Byers that it has no control over waste generated by lodges around Everest. 

‘They’re aware of the environmental, health, and aesthetic problems which landfills are creating but can’t really do anything because the Lodge Owners Association is too powerful,’ he said. 

Dr Byers said attempts to solve the problem should focus on reducing the solid waste coming into the Sagarmatha National Park, of which Everest is a part, while improving recycling. 

‘The first thing that I’d do would be to conduct a detailed scientific analysis of the problem and its prospective solutions,’ he said. 

Mountain geologist Alton Byers said attempts to solve the problem should focus on reducing the solid waste coming into the Sagarmatha National Park, of which Everest is a part, while improving recycling

Mountain geologist Alton Byers said attempts to solve the problem should focus on reducing the solid waste coming into the Sagarmatha National Park, of which Everest is a part, while improving recycling

‘Ultimately this could lead to, for example, the banning of all plastic water bottles entering the park, just like they banned glass beer bottles years ago. 

‘It could also lead to the development of incentives for lodge owners to recycle aluminium, steel and glass.’

As the world’s tallest peak, Everest stands some 8,848m (29,029ft) high. 

Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach its summit in 1953, inspiring other climbers to repeat the feat. 

As of March 2012, Everest has been climbed some 5,656 times, with 223 deaths.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold to oversee Olyroos’ Olympic qualification

Can you help find these wanted men?