Waste collected on Mount Everest will be turned into art and displayed in a gallery along the route to the mountain. The artwork should draw extra attention to the waste problem created in the area of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world (8,849 meters). The initiators point out that action must be taken to prevent the mountain from turning into a real landfill.
The artwork will be on display at the Sagarmatha Next Center, a visitor information center in Syangboche, a settlement along the route to the base camp for the mountaineers.
Employment and income
“The project will involve both foreign and local artists,” explains Tommy Gustafsson, project director and co-founder of the Sagarmatha Next Center. “They will use waste materials to create an artwork.”
“They will also show the local population how waste can still be given a useful second life. With the project we want to show how waste can be transformed into a valuable product and at the same time generate employment and income. In this way we hope to be able to change people’s perception of waste. ”
The Sagarmatha Next Center, located at an altitude of 3,780 meters, is a two-day walk from Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest. The visitor center has its own waste processing facility.
“The artworks and other products created from the waste will be exhibited there to improve public awareness of the environment,” Gustafsson emphasizes. “Part of the collection can also be sold. The proceeds will be invested in initiatives that can contribute to the protection of the area. ”
All other initiatives
“A number of initiatives have already been taken to control the waste problem on Mount Everest,” notes Phinjo Sherpa, spokesperson for local environmental group Eco Himal.
“The waste collected from the mountain or collected from residents and tea houses along the route is handled and sorted by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee. However, waste management in this remote area without roads is not an easy task. Waste is therefore often dumped or burned in open pits. This leads to pollution of air and water and is also the cause of significant soil pollution. ”
However, a measure has now been issued requiring every tourist and guide on their return from the Mount Everest area to bring back a bag containing one kilogram of waste and deliver it to Lukla airport. The collected supplies are then flown to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. “If we can involve the visitors in waste management, we can achieve important results,” argues Sherpa.
Two years ago, more than 60,000 hikers, climbers and guides visited the area. New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the top of Mount Everest in 1953. Since then, a total of about 4,000 people from Nepal have recorded 6,553 climbs of the mountain. However, Mount Everest can also be climbed from Tibet.