Expeditions to Mt Everest have to pay a deposit of $4,000 which is refunded only if the SPCC certifies that they have taken all their trash back down, there is a similar scheme for climbers on trekking peaks. Climbers say, the route up the Khumbu Icefall to the summit of Everest is cleaner than before.
Half a century after Edmund Hillary bought the land from Sherpa farmers for $2,600 to build the famous airfield, Lukla became the gateway to Everest. But today the town is also the exit point for garbage to be airlifted out.
“At the beginning of the trekking and mountaineering season like now, our flights to Lukla are full, but they fly back mostly empty. So we thought we would support Khumbu’s local cleanup campaign by flying the waste to Kathmandu,” explains Umesh Rai, CEO of Yeti Airlines and its subsidiary, Tara Air.