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Rich Lechleitner - The Blue-Bag Carry-out System in Mt. Rainier National Park

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Rich Lechleitner
The Blue-Bag Carry-out System in Mt. Rainier National Park
Exit Strategies Conference 2010
Sustainable Summits Initiative

Published in: Environment
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Rich Lechleitner - The Blue-Bag Carry-out System in Mt. Rainier National Park

  1. 1. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior
  2. 2. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Number of Climbers 1990-2009Number of Climbers 1990-2009  10,005 Average Over 20 Year Period10,005 Average Over 20 Year Period  54% of Climbers Reach the Summit54% of Climbers Reach the Summit  2009 – 10,616 Climbers2009 – 10,616 Climbers  with 6,438 Reaching the Summitwith 6,438 Reaching the Summit
  3. 3. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Day Use in Sub-Alpine and AlpineDay Use in Sub-Alpine and Alpine AreasAreas  On busy WeekendsOn busy Weekends there are hundredsthere are hundreds of visitors on theof visitors on the Muir SnowfieldMuir Snowfield below Camp Muirbelow Camp Muir  Many day useMany day use visitors use thevisitors use the toilets at Camp Muirtoilets at Camp Muir
  4. 4. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Climbing Cost Recovery  Safety & Education • High camps • Training personnel • Route information  Human Waste Management • Maintenance/Removal • Research  Program Administration • Permits • Website Annual Pass $30 per Climber
  5. 5. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Upper Mountain Waste Management •Established High Camp Solar Toilets •Blue Bag System (individual solid waste disposal)
  6. 6. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior High Camps •Camp Schurman on the Emmons Glacier Route •Camp Muir on the Disappointment Cleaver Route
  7. 7. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Solar Toilet at Camp Schurman
  8. 8. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Other High Camps where “Blue Bags” are the Main Human Waste Management System Emmons Flats Above Camp Schurman Ingraham Flats Above Camp Muir Camp Hazard on the Kautz Route Thumb Rock on the Liberty Ridge Route
  9. 9. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior What is a “Blue Bag”?What is a “Blue Bag”?  The “Blue Bag” system is a thin blueThe “Blue Bag” system is a thin blue polyethylene bag inside a clear thickpolyethylene bag inside a clear thick polyethylene bag with 2 twist ties topolyethylene bag with 2 twist ties to seal closed.seal closed.  They are similar to bags used toThey are similar to bags used to collect dog feces in City Parks andcollect dog feces in City Parks and similar settings.similar settings.
  10. 10. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior How is a “Blue Bag” Used?How is a “Blue Bag” Used?  A Climber defecates on the snow and thenA Climber defecates on the snow and then collects their feces in the inner blue bag,collects their feces in the inner blue bag, using it like a glove.using it like a glove.  The blue bag is then inverted and sealedThe blue bag is then inverted and sealed with a twist tie.with a twist tie.  The full blue bag is then placed in theThe full blue bag is then placed in the heavy clear bag and sealed with a twistheavy clear bag and sealed with a twist tie.tie.  The “Blue Bag” is now carried to theThe “Blue Bag” is now carried to the nearest collection barrel and deposited.nearest collection barrel and deposited.
  11. 11. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Materials &Cost of “Blue Bags”Materials &Cost of “Blue Bags”  9” by 12” 4 mil Clear Poly Bags9” by 12” 4 mil Clear Poly Bags $66.85/1,000$66.85/1,000  12” by 15” .65 mil Blue Poly Bags12” by 15” .65 mil Blue Poly Bags $26.40/1,000$26.40/1,000  Two 7” Twist tiesTwo 7” Twist ties $5.20/1,000$5.20/1,000  Price per BagPrice per Bag $0.10365$0.10365
  12. 12. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Assembly of “Blue Bags”Assembly of “Blue Bags”  It takes approximately 30 seconds toIt takes approximately 30 seconds to assemble finished blue bagsassemble finished blue bags  This adds $0.06 to $0.15 per bagThis adds $0.06 to $0.15 per bag depending on the cost of labordepending on the cost of labor  Assembly of blue bags is a duty thatAssembly of blue bags is a duty that can be done by fee collectors duringcan be done by fee collectors during down time in the fee collectiondown time in the fee collection booth.booth.
  13. 13. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Blue Bag Pick UpBlue Bag Pick Up  Most Climbers get blue bags whenMost Climbers get blue bags when registering for the climbregistering for the climb  Extra blue bags are available atExtra blue bags are available at Camp Muir and Camp SchurmanCamp Muir and Camp Schurman  Each climber is provided with 2 bagsEach climber is provided with 2 bags
  14. 14. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Blue Bag Collection Barrels
  15. 15. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Collection Sites for “Blue Bags”Collection Sites for “Blue Bags”  Slate Restroom at ParadiseSlate Restroom at Paradise  White River CampgroundWhite River Campground  Westside RoadWestside Road  Camp MuirCamp Muir  Camp SchurmanCamp Schurman
  16. 16. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Helicopter Used to Supply High Camps and Remove Human Waste
  17. 17. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Human Waste Barrels Being Removed by Helicopter
  18. 18. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Flying Barrel Down
  19. 19. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Preparation for StericyclePreparation for Stericycle Pick-up of Blue BagsPick-up of Blue Bags  Bags are removed from barrels inBags are removed from barrels in red biohazard bagsred biohazard bags  Up to 40 pounds of bags are placedUp to 40 pounds of bags are placed in double bagged 1.9 cubic footin double bagged 1.9 cubic foot boxesboxes  Boxes are sealed and labeledBoxes are sealed and labeled  Boxes are picked up by StericycleBoxes are picked up by Stericycle
  20. 20. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Preparing “Blue Bags” for Stericycle Pick Up
  21. 21. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Disposal by StericycleDisposal by Stericycle  Boxes are transported to Morton,Boxes are transported to Morton, Washington for processingWashington for processing  The waste is then transported byThe waste is then transported by truck to a Waste to Energy Facility intruck to a Waste to Energy Facility in Marion County, OregonMarion County, Oregon  The waste is incinerated at a cost ofThe waste is incinerated at a cost of $30.00 per box (up to 40 pounds)$30.00 per box (up to 40 pounds)  Incinerator is used to generateIncinerator is used to generate electricity for Marion Countyelectricity for Marion County
  22. 22. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Cost of Disposal of Blue BagsCost of Disposal of Blue Bags  In 2009 2,813 pounds of blue bagsIn 2009 2,813 pounds of blue bags were disposed ofwere disposed of  Cost of Disposal was $2,440Cost of Disposal was $2,440  Average Cost of Disposal for lastAverage Cost of Disposal for last eight years $2,314eight years $2,314
  23. 23. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Pros and Cons of “Blue Bag”Pros and Cons of “Blue Bag” SystemSystem  Pros:Pros:  Low Cost for Bags: $0.25 per bagLow Cost for Bags: $0.25 per bag  Low Cost for Disposal:$0.23 perLow Cost for Disposal:$0.23 per climberclimber  Easy to UseEasy to Use  Great Compliance by ClimbersGreat Compliance by Climbers  Easy to Manage Collection SitesEasy to Manage Collection Sites
  24. 24. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Pros and Cons of “Blue Bag”Pros and Cons of “Blue Bag” SystemSystem  ConsCons  Bags left on the Mountain are notBags left on the Mountain are not BiodegradableBiodegradable  Waste is flown off from High CampsWaste is flown off from High Camps using helicoptersusing helicopters  Waste must be picked up byWaste must be picked up by StericycleStericycle  Waste is incineratedWaste is incinerated
  25. 25. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Other Carry Out Systems triedOther Carry Out Systems tried at Mount Rainierat Mount Rainier  Restop 2 bagsRestop 2 bags  Cost $1.30 per bag in 2003Cost $1.30 per bag in 2003 (Wholesale)(Wholesale)  Can be disposed of in trashCan be disposed of in trash  Great for use by Commercial GuideGreat for use by Commercial Guide ServicesServices  No Waste is deposited on snowNo Waste is deposited on snow
  26. 26. Mount Rainier National Park National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Climbers on the Summit Crater

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