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Cleaning The ‘Head Of The Great Blue Sky’

Braving pitfalls, death traps and risking lives, the intrepid Sherpas of Nepal have succeeded in cleaning nearly 20-tonnes of solid and hazardous wastes this year from the ‘Head of the Great Blue Sky:’ Mt. Everest.

The world this year is celebrating the 60th year of scaling of Mt. Everest. The first ascent on Mt. Everest was done on May 29, 1953.

Nearly 50 tons of rubbish, solid wastes and hazardous materials left by climbing tourists every year on Sagarmatha (‘Head of the Great Blue Sky’) as Mt. Everest, positioned at 8,848 metres above sea level, is venerably termed by the Nepalese people.

According to a spokesperson of the Nepal Tourism Board’s office here, the Nepal Government has made it mandatory that all mountaineers must have to adhere to the strict Code of Conduct to scale Mt. Everest as dumping of garbage and wastes are threatening the ecosystems of the Himalayas.

The government has introduced safe waste management techniques for local villages and tourists and installed at least 15 waste treatment facilities. During the ongoing clean up operations, a large number of discarded oxygen canisters, climbing gears, tin, metals, plastic bottles, food packets, tent equipments and sundry other solid wastes have been collected and brought to plains from the mountain peaks.

Meanwhile, “Saving Everest”, an NGO engaged in cleaning mountain peaks of Mt. Everest since 2011, have collected eight tones of solid wastes. After segregating the waste, they are brought to a place called Namche and from there to Kathmandu for being put into the incinerators.

Another volunteer group New Era has introduced waste treatment facilities and safe waste management techniques to the local villagers to dispose of the Himalayan wastes. The emphasis is on solid waste management and on supporting and strengthening local communities as the caretakers of biodiversity conservation.

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