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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Decades of human waste has made Mt. Everest transformed into a giant fecal mountain

More than 4,000 people have climbed Mount Everest since Sir Edmund Hillary as the first man who stood on the highest point of the Earth's surface in 1953 ago. Before that, the deadliest peaks which have a height of 8,850 meters above sea level is literally untouched by humans, because no one ever stood at the top or pooping on the slope.
The last light of the day sets on Mount Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ZS9Ja)
Now, the highest mountain in the world was covered in more than 10 tons of human waste, and filled with broken equipments, remnant of oxygen tubes and many others. Yes, the explorers, glory seekers have been damaging the most iconic mountains on our planet.

According to Peter Holley in The Washington Post, more than 11,793 kg of human waste is transported from the mountain each season by the Sherpa people. Then they throw the garbage in the holes near Gorak Shep, a small village located at an altitude of about 5,164 meters above sea level.
Queuing of the Mount Everest climbers towards the deadliest peaks which have a height of 8,850 meters above sea level. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ZSByr)
When conditions on the mountain were friends, hundreds of climbers set out from base camp in the hope of setting foot on the summit. Although not all the climbers successfully reached the peak, surely they all left a large amount of dirt and remnants of supplies.

How could this happen?
Climbers usually dig a hole in the snow to be used as an emergency toilet. After this shitting business was over, they close the hole and then go. But the dirt was not going anywhere, initially the emergency toilet that used only a hole in the ground and then  has been growing for many years. The most affected areas are an outside area of the climbers camp that used to be adjust to the altitude.
During a 2010 cleanup at Mount Everest, a Nepalese Sherpa collects trash left by climbers more than 26,000 feet up the mountain. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1ZS9Ja)
Along with the garbage problem worsens, the local water sources are slowly transformed into toxic sludge. Essentially, the holes in Gorak Shep is a giant trash cans which have risks threatening diseases to the locals. The situation is worse because the dirt was not destroyed by the cold climate in the region. Dirt freezes and stay there longer than in the areas with the warmer climate.

The good news, there are still people who are trying to present a solution, because in fact no one wants to see one of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world becoming a fecal giant mountain. One of the leading ideas come from the engineers of Mount Everest Biogas Project, which plans to transform the dirt in the holes at Gorak Shep became a source of energy.

As Renee Morad report to Discovery News, the digester biogas is different from the usual because it has the ability to function in cold environmental conditions.

"Digester will be equipped with R-50 insulation and 200 watts loop resistor, similar to those commonly found in the water heaters and has a function as a heat conductor."

Engineers also said that an additional 100 watts of power will be needed to keep the contents of the digester are buried in the ground, remain at a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

To provide the power to the device, the team plans to implement a series of solar panels. If this becomes reality, the manure pits can actually provide benefits to the locals.

However, this idea does not necessarily solve the garbage problem which is getting worse every year. Even though the Nepalese government requires all climbers carry down 8 kg of waste down or will lose their deposit money, the waste problem at Everest did not improve. Do you have a solution to this problem? *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | THE WASHINGTON POST]
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