Is Everest Getting Toilets?

Eco-Travel, Travel News — By christinegarvin on October 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Not exactly the first place you think of when the term “working toilets” crosses your mind, Mt. Everest may be the next destination that provides waste control.

Exactly how this is going to be done remains to be seen.

Environmental group EcoHimal has recommended to the Nepalese government that they install toilets in the popular trekking regions of the Himalayas, including Everest. They say that human trash and waste, which does not decompose quickly in the cold temperatures of the mountain, is negatively impacting the environment.

Unfortunately, as critics of the idea note, the constant shifting of the ice and snow make it nearly impossible to have permanent structures in place.

Image: Sistak/Flickr

Still, proponents are pressing forward. They say that although the government has implemented fines for not bringing back all trash and waste, it’s virtually impossible to enforce the rules. EcoHimal, along with Trekking Agents Association of Nepal and UNESCO, have collected over 8.1 tons of garbage this year from the mountain.

Commercial climbs of the area continue to increase, and treks can last up to two months. That is a lot of human garbage collecting along the mountain.

EcoMihal is moving along quickly, attempting to get some of the toilets in place by the end of 2012. They also say both the clean-up project and toilets provide jobs for locals, along with helping to save the environment.

Sure, we’d appreciate the toilets on that Everest climbing trip. But we certainly feel for whomever has the job to clean them.

Tags: EcoHimal, environmental awareness, Himalayas, mountain trekking, Mt. Everest, Nepal

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