A total of 40 tons of domestic and construction trash has been removed from the sides of Europe's highest mountain, Elbrus, or partly burned, organisers of an international ecological expedition to Mt Elbrus -- members of the new cultural centre New Acropolis -- told a news conference in Moscow. Mt Elbrus is a Greater Caucasus mountain more than 5,600 metres high.
The expedition included 140 people from different countries. For two weeks they were collecting and lowering the litter down an aerial ropeway to the foothills where it was picked up by conventional garbage trucks. Besides, at a height of 4,200 metres, expedition members installed an incinerator of an original design to burn the trash, and two huge tanks for domestic rubbish -- "for the future".
The leader of the campaign, Russian ecologist Vadim Karelin, said that next year collection of the junk of which "there are still lots on Elbrus" will be continued.
The cleansing operation was conducted as part of the UN General Assembly programme, which declared 2002 the Year of Mountains.