Goa hotelier turning food waste into energy

Food wastage is an alarming issue in India. The onus of the food waste collectively lies on the millions of households, canteens, hotels, social and family functions, weddings, etc which throw away hundreds of kgs of food away, every day.

For the past six months, Jack has installed a 4-kg biogas unit in his backyard where he has been putting food waste from his hotel, The Panjim Heritage Hotel to good use. "At the hotel, we get anywhere between 25-40 kgs of food waste a day. Therefore, we are experimenting with a biogas unit which will help us recycle waste and also generate cooking gas. Currently, we are putting 4 kgs of food waste every day in the unit at my house," says Jack to Sulochana Pednekar, our Community Correspondent from Goa. 

The unit is very simple to operate. You simply put segregated, organic waste in the unit, mix it with water and stir around at regular intervals of days so that it can homogeneously dissolve. "It feels good to take something treated as rubbish and see that it can be useful in many ways," says Jack. It takes 25 days for the unit to produce cooking gas as well as organic fertiliser. The fertiliser is rich in nitrogen and thus is good for gardening and farming purposes.

The Biogas unit is a smart, affordable technology which can be utilised by hotels and restaurants for generating their own cooking gas. "It requires no maintenance or processing. You can directly put waste into the system," says Parag Modi, an entrepreneur who helped Jack install his biogas unit.

Goa and many tourist cities of India have numerous hotels and restaurants which produce a large amount of food waste. If innovations such as biogas are utilised by even a fraction of these entities, it will save them a considerable amount of expense, while also utilising the huge amounts of food waste generated.

This video was made by Community correspondent Sulochana Pednekar from Goa, for Video Volunteers.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. we could hyperlink to some VV pages, like our take action page.

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