KATHMANDU, Nepal, March 4 (UPI) -- Concerned about the growing heaps of litter strewn about the face of the world's tallest and most majestic mountain, the Nepalese government recently passed new rules that require Mount Everest climbers to be more diligent about cleaning up after themselves.
The rules, which will go into effect this spring, stipulate that climbers who progress beyond base camp must each return with at least 17 pounds of garbage -- not including their oxygen tanks and human waste. Fail to pick up enough trash on the way down, and climbers will forfeit their $4,000 deposit.
"Once they submit the rubbish to officials of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee on their return to the Everest base camp, they will get a receipt," Madhusudan Burlakoti told BBC Nepali's Surendra Phuyal in Kathmandu. "They will need to submit that to us so that they can reclaim their deposits."
Previously, the cleanup rule applied only to groups of climbers. But now, each individual climber must do his or her part in cleaning up the mountain.