Solid Waste Statue

Spanish climbers in Kathmandu, West Nepal, picked up 2,200 pounds of garbage from Mount Annapurna, the 10th highest mountain in the world, in April. They weren't trying to be do-gooders - they were gathering material to build a statue in Barcelona, Spain, to mark the 25th anniversary of the first expedition up the mountain.

Their treasures included batteries, boots, cooking equipment and other items discarded by climbers. Most of it was dug out of hard snow, according to Ferran Garcia, the Spanish Wilderness Annapurna 1999 Cleaning Expedition leader.

However, the garbage currently is "buried" in Nepal's customs office. Apparently, there are no rules for the export of trash, and customs officials have no idea how to clear it at the airport.

Source: Reuters

Money Doesn't Grow in Trash Throwing money away doesn't necessarily mean spending frivolously. In Germany, it means turning money into compost.

Like most of the 15 countries in the European Union, Germany is eliminating its currency, the mark, by 2002 to make way for the Euro. Something must be done with the 2,600 tons of German mark bills currently in circulation - the bills contain oils and waxes that are non-recyclable, landfilling is expensive and burning is considered wasteful. So, the marks are being shredded and combined with animal waste, rotting food, yard waste and other materials for compost.

"If you think of the smell and what goes into compost, it is not that nice," The New York Times quotes a spokesman for the Bavarian State Central Bank as saying. "But if you think that compost is a stimulus to growth, then [turning the money into it] is quite a nice symbol."

Source: The New York Times