Mount Everest Has A Poop Problem. A Team From Seattle Wants To Clean It Up

Nov 20, 2017

It’s a unique problem: How to dispose of human waste on Mount Everest? The mountain’s climatic conditions and high altitude has baffled engineers. But a group of Northwest researchers has possibly found a solution.

Everyone poops, even climbers on the world’s tallest mountain. All that human waste has caused a lot of problems for local villagers near Mount Everest’s base camp.

That’s why a group of Northwest volunteers designed a solar-powered contraption that can turn that 26,000 pounds of human waste each year into energy and fertilizer for the villagers.

Garry Porter is the co-founder of the Mount Everest Biogas Project. He says the system that relies on something called a digester has to work at near-freezing temperatures year-round and at more than 17,000 feet.

“It also had to be relatively rugged, man-portable and low-tech, and it had to be available in Nepal,” Porter said.

The project just received a Mountain Protection Award. They hope to have the system up and running by the end of next fall.

If it works, Porter says it could be set up at other high altitude, high traveled spots.

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