Sunday, September 19, 2010
Welcome to the Mountain Cleaners blog
With the phrase "Leave footprints not garbage", the Mountain Cleaners aim to help restore parts of the Himalayas to their pristine natural beauty and this blog will help keep you informed.
The Mountain Cleaners are a group of volunteers who formed in 2009 in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. We are dedicated environmentalists who are committed to cleaning up India, little by little through a combination of direct action, liaison and awareness raising.
Our initial project, which is still ongoing, has involved working with the tea shops in a beautiful but increasingly rubbish stricken mountain camp called Triund, a four hour trek from Mcleod Ganj in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.
We began our project by asking the tea shops of the area to stop burning and throwing their waste down the mountain. We asked them to collect and segregate their rubbish into two simple categories – recyclable and, non recyclable waste. Every week our volunteers check and sort the waste from the tea shops and work on clearing the back log of garbage that has been thrown down the hillside. We transport the rubbish down the mountain using donkeys.
The recyclables are passed on to the waste workers so they can get some extra income and the non recyclable waste is put into the town’s waste container. Earlier all of this rubbish would have been thrown down the mountain or burnt, releasing dangerous chemicals into the air. As a result of our efforts the area of Triund is slowly returning to its pristine condition.
We believe our model is simple and complete. We are not just about picking up rubbish and cleaning an area temporarily. Instead we want to work with local people and schools to provide solutions, ensuring rubbish is disposed of correctly and as much of it as possible is reused or recycled.