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Mount Everest Cleans Up

Does your teacher ever have your class pick up trash in the classroom and throw it in wastebaskets? Or does your family ask you not to litter, or not to drop your paper wrappers on the street or sidewalk? Places in nature need to be free from garbage, just as your school and house do. Mount Everest is a place in nature that was littered with people's trash.

Climbing Litterbugs

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. It is on the continent of Asia. In the 1990s, experts found out that Mount Everest was covered with trash.

Many mountain climbers had left behind items such as food packages, tents, and batteries. There were thousands of pounds of garbage on the mountain. Some people even called Mount Everest the “world's tallest garbage dump.”

Cleanup Time for the Mountain

By 1994, environmentalists and mountain climbers had started cleanup efforts. Environmentalists are people who work to protect the environment—Earth's plants, animals, air, water, and land.

People also passed laws to help fix Mount Everest's trash problem. One law required mountain climbers to pay $4,000 before their trip. The climbers would get their money back only if they returned with their trash. Many local people also worked to clean up the mountain on their own.

It Worked!

Today, more than 10 years after the cleanup began, Mount Everest is nearly as clean as it was before people began climbing it. One person said that you would now have a hard time finding trash on Mount Everest, even if you looked carefully!