Three tons of garbage removed from Mount Everest

Three tons of garbage removed from Mount Everest
© Getty images

More than three tons of trash were removed from Mount Everest in the first two weeks of an ambitious effort to clean the world's tallest peak.

Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday that 6,613 pounds of garbage were hauled off the mountain by a team of volunteers, part of an unprecedented plan to remove years' worth of built-up trash exposed by melting snow and ice.

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"The clean-up campaign team has just started and members have ascended to higher camps to collect more garbage," Dandu Raj Ghimire, chief of Nepal's tourism ministry told AFP.

"The clean-up campaign will be continued in the coming seasons as well to make the world's tallest mountain clean. It is our responsibility to keep our mountains clean," he added.

Efforts to remove waste from the mountain also resulted in the exposure and removal of four dead bodies by search team members, according to the news service. Dozens of climbers have perished on the mountain over the years, with many bodies quickly becoming hidden or immobilized by freezing conditions.

AFP reports that the effort to clean the mountain is multinational: China reportedly banned non-climbers from its side of the mountain's summit in Tibet in February to cut down on trash being deposited on the mountain.

A record 807 people scaled Everest successfully last year, according to the news agency.