This handout picture taken on May 20, 2018 and released on June 12 by Damian Benegas shows discarded climbing equipment and rubbish scattered around Camp 4 of Mount Everest. "AFP PHOTO / Damian Benegas
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Decades of commercial mountaineering have turned Mount Everest into the world's highest rubbish dump as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind.As the number of climbers on the mountain has soared – at least 600 people have scaled the world's highest peak so far this year alone – the problem has worsened.Five years ago Nepal implemented a $4,000 rubbish deposit per team that would be refunded if each climber brought down at least 8 kilograms of waste.In 2017 climbers in Nepal brought down nearly 25 tons of trash and 15 tons of human waste – the equivalent of three double-decker buses – according to the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee.Now, numerous climbers can't manage, leaving the Sherpas to carry everything.Another solution, believes Ang Tsering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, would be a dedicated rubbish collection team.His expedition operator Asian Trekking, which has been running "Eco Everest Expeditions" for the last decade, has brought down over 18 tons of trash during that time in addition to the 8-kilogram climber quota.
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