Caretakers of the world-famous Mount Everest are cracking down on climbers who use the scenic spot as a personal landfill.
Starting in spring 2014, Kathmandu caretakers will require a $4,000 deposit that will be void unless each individual climber descends the mountain with at least eight kilograms (17 lbs.) of waste, not including oxygen tanks or human waste. When the waste is handed over, the money is returned.
The new policy will apply to climbers who go beyond the Everest base camp at just over 5,300 metres.
In recent years, teams have attempted to clean up the famous mountain, yet the sheer extent of the waste isn’t clear. Some climbers have reported that the higher a climber goes, the worse the waste becomes.
In 2012, creative activists made some of the mountain’s rubbish into art displays to highlight the pollution problem.
The new policy from Nepal’s tourism officials is a response to cutting climbing fees for the mountain. The waste deposit policy is a measure to combat what’s expected to be a surge of new climbers.
In 2010, a team of Nepalese Sherpas made a journey high atop the mountain to clean up litter and retrieve the bodies of two climbers who died on the slopes.