Asian team to climb Everest to clear garbage
KATHMANDU - Climbers from Japan, Nepal and South Korea carrying 200 empty plastic bags will climb the northern slopes of Mount Everest to pick up garbage dumped by previous expeditions, the leader of the team said.
"We plan to collect between 2.5 and 3.0 tonnes of garbage," Ken Noguchi of Japan, who heads the team on the Tibetan side of the worlds highest mountain, told Reuters.
He said the climbers - two Japanese, one South Korean and 30 Nepalis - will leave for Lhasa in Tibet next week and were expected to reach the base camp on the northern side of the 8,850 metre (29,035 ft) Everest summit on April 11.
Noguchi said the actual cleaning work would start in May between the advanced base camp at 6,400 metres (20,997 ft) and 8,300 metres (27,230 ft), the site where climbers pitch their final camps before reaching the summit.
Noguchi, who climbed the Everest in 1999, said the pollution on the worlds highest mountain was so bad that it was called the "worlds highest garbage site".
He estimated some 100 tonnes of garbage that include empty oxygen bottles, ropes, plastic bags, canisters, ladders, tents and faecal matter left behind by previous expeditions.
"Pollution will become even more serious in the future," he added.
Noguchi said he planned to take up to 700 kg (1,540 lb) of trash to Japan and 400 kg (880 lb) to South Korea for public display to generate awareness about environmental cleanliness.
Last year he collected 1.5 tonnes of litter on Everest and plans a similar exercise on the Nepali side of the mountain next year.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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