Machu Picchu Big Trash Problem. Is Mass Tourism Responsible?

Machu Picchu trash and tourists

A United Nations released video shed some light on the Machu Picchu trash problem, and it’s a big one.

On a daily basis tourists left behind, at Machu Picchu, about 14 tonnes of garbage. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other preservation and conservation groups are concern about the impact this is having on the site. It is noted that the main items that got tossed by the million or so visitors per annum whom trek the site comprise plastic bottles, fruit peel and cans. As it relates to setting up a workable waste management plant all plans have failed. As it stands, a suitable location for such a base could not be immediately identified.

UN says tourists trashing Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca fortress built around the year 1450 during the Inca Empire was in 1983 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The trash problem at Machu Picchu is not a unique one. This is exactly what happened at any place in the world that become overrun by too many people during a relatively short period and at this historical Peruvian attraction site we have mass tourism taking place. Mount Everest is still dealing with a serve trash and human waste problem. Environmentalists suggested that each person who visit these and other such locations take every piece of their trash with them when they leave and dispose of same in a responsible manner at a designated point and where such a point is not clearly marked or identified then they should pack and take the trash back with them until a recycle or trash bin is located for use away from the site.

Chief Seattle must have been onto something when he said in reference to people visiting natural places “take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!“, a catchy but wise phrase that is appropriate today.