Patagonia Waste Management - Searching for Solutions in the Chaltén Massif

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Patagonia Waste Management

Mar 6, 2017, 10:37:57 AM3/6/17
to Managing Human Waste in the Wild
Hello All, 

I have been working with an amazing crew of people on a grassroots waste management project in Argentina for the last two years (of a project that been 9 years in the making). Below is a brief description, links to articles and videos about the project. I apologize for not sharing this on here sooner! This google group has been helpful over the years in the planning of this project, thank you to all the contributors.

My name is Steffan Gregory and myself and a crew of volunteers supported by Access PanAm (climbing advocacy group) ,Toilet Tech Solutions (Geoff Hill PHD), APN (Argentine National Park System),Patagonia Conservation Grant, Black Diamond Equipment, American Alpine Club (Zach Martin Breaking Barriers Grant), Deep Creek Coffee Comanpy, have been addressing the need for waste management solutions in Los Glaciares National Park - Northern Zone, in Argentina. The town nearest the park is El Chaltén and is known famously for the Fitz Roy skyline, Cerro Torre and world class hiking. 

The project is now in its second year and progressing well. The first season we spent 3 months in Chaltén building a urine diverting vermi composting toilet at a popular viewpoint. This was in hopes that it would provide data to determine wether or not this system was appropriate for the region. At the same time, it addresses a waste management problem at commonly used viewpoint. The end goal is to find solutions that apply to higher staging camps in the park. Though it has become a simultaneous goal to help the APN address its waste management issues in the park at large. Needless to say there are many moving parts. We returned this past January to follow up with the work from the 2015-2016 season. We were happy to find the unit was working well. The system critical parts were operating smoothly and still in good shape. The unit needed some annual cleaning as well some fine tuning, but, that is to be expected with this style of system. Overall the park is quite happy with the unit and are taking great care of it. The project is still processing information from this season, but will share findings as they come up. 

Thank you for tuning in! 

Steffan Gregory

Links to Articles and videos 


--Patagonia - Cleantest Line Blog--

--(Spanish) - From

--Black Diamond Equipment Post--


Rodney Garrard

Mar 7, 2017, 5:52:50 AM3/7/17
Great initiative and project Steffan and co!

Thanks for sharing and best regards,

Rodney Garrard
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Carolina Adler

Mar 13, 2017, 9:14:31 AM3/13/17
to Managing Human Waste in the Wild
Dear Steffan,

My name is Carolina Adler, current President of the UIAA's Mountain Protection Commission and also I'm the Executive Director of the Mountain Research Initiative based here in Switzerland. First of all may I congratulate you and your team for the great efforts you have made and the great results you and others are achieving to address the issue of waste in mountain regions - very commendable!

I'd like you, and others like you out there reading this forum, to consider showcasing your projects and work in the UIAA's "Mountain Protection Award" (MPA) platform and prize. This is a great way to not only reach out to others, like other alpine clubs and federations world wide, who could learn from your great example, but also allow you to gain exposure and recognition for this great contribution - you may even be eligible for the cash prize too! The link to visit for more details on how to enter the platform, is here:

If you or others here have any questions with regards to the UIAA's MPA, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at

Looking forward to hearing from you! and best wishes for continued success in this field.


Dr Carolina Adler
President, UIAA Mountain Protection Commission
International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA)
T: +41 789 228 254

Patagonia Waste Management

Mar 21, 2017, 1:29:05 PM3/21/17
to Managing Human Waste in the Wild
Thank you Carolina, 

We appreciate you taking a moment to look at our project. Thank you for the kind words! We will apply to showcase our project in the upcoming cycle for the "Mountain Protection Award". 

Thank you Carolina!
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