EVEREST RECYCLING CHALLENGE
Project Status: On going
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The Everest Recycling Challenge introduces waste management solutions for the widespread environmental hazards in the Himalayas, caused by the garbage. With these solutions, we create sustainable jobs and entrepreneurship, helping Nepalese families to improve their lives. The waste management solutions include recycling the garbage into new products and also include creating alternative materials for use in the Everest region, which can easier be recycled. The goal for 2017 is to start setting up these solutions in the Everest region. We will recycle a part of the garbage from the lodges in the Everest region and we are also planning to get garbage lying on the mountains. We focus on tin cans, plastic and organic waste first. After 2017 we will expand our activities in the Everest region and we will set up waste management solutions in other parts of the Himalayas as well, including Kathmandu valley. Besides our large focus on recycling, our goal is also to organize initiatives which decrease the amount of packaging materials used, in the near future.
HOW DO WE CONTRIBUTE TO MOUNTAIN PROTECTION
With the waste management solutions, we prevent garbage from being put in landfills or being burnt in open fires or incinerators. Now garbage is being put in landfills or being burnt too often, contaminating the ground and the groundwater and also polluting the air.
COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Besides creating jobs for Nepalese families, we share smart solutions with them, in which they can invest to make more of the money they earned. This can be local waste management solutions, which can be run as a local business by the families. It can also be solutions to make the house earthquake-proof, to have better healthcare, or a sustainable energy source at home. With the profit the ERC makes, micro loans can also be granted to the families, to help with the investments.
We will recycle as much as possible in the Everest region itself and start continuous recycling of garbage in the region in January 2017, at an altitude of 2600 meters. The first products will be coasters, lamp shades, fruit bowls, flower vases and souvenir badges. We invite trekkers to collect some garbage during their stay and visit our recycling facility. This way we create more visibility among the trekkers and the trekking companies. We work together with the lodge owners in the region, not only to collect the garbage from their lodges, but also to sell the recycled products in their lodge to trekkers.
GOING FURTHER THAN BUSINESS AS USUAL
The machines and equipment needed to make the products are relatively simple, lightweight, do not need much infrastructure in the region and can easily be handled by the local people, without needing a lot of exercise. This makes it more easy to start with recycling in the remote mountain area’s itself, instead of having to transport the garbage to large cities. Later on in the project we can also introduce more complex recycling machines and equipment, which need more infrastructure, more skills and training and more funds.
Besides recycling the current garbage materials, our goal is also create alternatives for these materials. We are talking to global industries and global leaders in waste management, to create innovative packaging materials, which can better be recycled than the ones used right now in many remote mountain area’s.
Like written in the paragraph ‘collaboration with local communities’, we go a step further than offering jobs to Nepalese families. We enable them to invest in smart solutions that significantly improve their lives.
Everybody visiting the Everest region can help to clean the area. Trekkers can collect some garbage during their stay and take it to our recycling facility, in their backpack. Trekkers can see how the garbage is processed in this recycling facility and can also make a product for themselves, from the garbage, during a workshop in the facility.