Sat, Apr 13, 2019 - Page 6 News List

China to install ‘eco’ toilet at camp on Mount Everest

AFP, BEIJING

Climbers with pressing needs on Mount Everest will soon find an “eco-friendly” toilet at a Chinese campsite 7km above sea level in an ongoing campaign to deal with the peak’s waste problem.

Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world’s highest garbage dump, as an increasing number of big-spending mountaineers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind.

Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and even human excrement pollute the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8.8km peak.

During the climbing season this spring, a Chinese expedition company is to add what state media dubbed an “eco-friendly” toilet at the higher campsite on the northern slope in Tibet.

“The toilet makes it easy to collect human waste produced by the climbers, as there is a barrel with rubbish bags underneath the toilet,” Xinhua news agency quoted Tibet Mountaineering Association deputy secretary-general Pema Tinley as saying.

The waste is to be collected and brought down the mountain.

Similar facilities have been installed at lower camps, including at the 5.2km north base camp, in previous years, Xinhua said.

The waste from the base camp is taken away daily and is provided to local farmers to use as fertilizer, Xinhua said in February, citing observations by a reporter and a member of the mountaineering management team.

The temporary toilets are to be removed at the end of the climbing season.

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