Kathmandu, May 17
A total of 10,000 kilogrammes of solid waste has been collected so far from Mount Everest under the Sagarmatha Cleaning Campaign 2019. Of the total collected waste, 4,000 kg garbage has been brought to Kathmandu till date.
Organising a press meet here today, the Department of Tourism (DoT) informed 1,000 kilos of garbage has been handed over to Blue Waste to Value Pvt Ltd for recycling, while 3,000 kilos of the garbage is currently with Nepali Army.
As per DoT’s Director General Dandu Raj Ghimire, 2,000 kilos of garbage collected from Camp I and Camp II along with 1,900 kilos collected from vicinity of Base Camp have been taken care of at the Base Camp. Also, 411 kilos of garbage has been collected from Camp IV, while 1,230 kilos collected from Base Camp and vicinity of Gorakshep so far.
Likewise, around 400 kilos of garbage collected from Namche has been handed over to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC).
“Garbage collection from Mt Everest is still going on,” Ghimire said. “Our cleaning team has now reached South Col of the Everest, after cleaning Base Camp, Camp I, Camp II, Camp III and Camp IV.”
He further said that the garbage collection is likely to exceed the target set by the department. Under the supervision of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality, the campaign was started from April 14. A team deployed from DoT is working on this campaign along with Nepali Army.
The department had expected to collect a total of 5,000 kilos of waste from Base Camp, 2,000 kilos from South Col and around 3,000 kilos from Camp II and III. The collected garbage from Mt Everest will be exhibited at Namche on May 27 and in Kathmandu on May 29 on the occasion of International Everest Day.
Around 10 days remain in the 45-day-long campaign.
The department has received donations of around Rs 22.7 million till date for the Everest cleaning campaign, and support is still pouring in, Ghimire added.
Meanwhile, Ghimire said that they are also trying to bring down the dead bodies found during the cleaning campaign. However, the crowd of climbers at Mt Everest is obstructing the work to some extent.
“We are trying our best to bring down the bodies, but we are not sure if it will be possible,” he said, although he did not want to mention the number of dead bodies found during the campaign.
Earlier, it had been reported that four dead bodies had been found by the cleaning team.
This year, China has also conducted a cleaning campaign at Mt Everest from their side. For the cleaning campaign, they have limited the number of climbers to Mt Everest from China side. However, Nepal did not take any such measure.
As per DoT, 397 climbers have received expedition permits to summit Mt Everest this spring season.
A version of this article appears in print on May 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.