Ask an Expert
phone us on 1800 567 2216
9am - 5:30pm Monday - Friday (Eastern time)
GREAT COMPANY (OUR FRIENDS)!
Would highly recommend to others.
Responsible Litter Disposal
Responsible Litter Disposal in the Himalaya
Thanks to Tim Macartney-Snape, Leave No Trace
There are three categories of litter/garbage produced on a trek. Each type of litter needs to be dealt with differently.
1. Biodegradable: kitchen food waste
ACTION: These should be carried away from any camping areas and buried in an area away from any streams and preferably in deep leaf litter or a village compost heap.
2. Non‐combustible litter: steel, aluminium cans, aluminium foil, glass
ACTION: These should be carried back out to the road head and disposed of in a properly managed landfill site.
3. Combustible litter: paper & plastic
ACTION: These can be burned but only in a well-designed incinerator so that no fire scar is left and also so that the burn is complete and clean.
These incinerators are used at our wilderness and eco-camps in Nepal and Bhutan.
Here’s a series of images of a clean burn. When the paper and plastic is fed slowly into the fire a complete and clean burn is the result. Only ashes remain. No scar on the earth.
Are plastics safe to burn?
Most plastics taken on treks will be made purely from hydrocarbons such as polyethylene and polypropylene. These are safe to burn and will only produce water and carbon dioxide if burned cleanly.
You should not burn PVC or Polystyrene as burning them can produce poisonous gases, these should be treated as non‐combustible.
Why burn litter?
Carrying out all litter on a long trek is expensive and impractical. Burning it in a controlled and managed way using a lightweight incinerator is clean and efficient, removing the possibility of that litter blowing or washing into the environment to be a risk to animals and creating an unsightly state to the landscape.
Responsible Litter Disposal in Peru and Mount Rinjani
On our treks in Peru and on Mount Rinjani our crew or muels carry all the litter collected over the course of the trek out from the trail and back to the nearest city to be responsibily disposed.
In Cusco in Peru we worked with Turismo Cuida to ensure that our plastics are collected and delivered to the GIAMAT plant in Cusco, where the litter is sorted, packed and delivered to recycling plants in Lima.
In Indonesia the litter is taken to Lombok where it is delivered to the closest recycling plant.
Please direct any questions to our Responsible Travel Manager - email@example.com