By Anil Kumar
Golden city, Jaisalmer, is frequented by tourists every year for the magnificence of the Thar Desert landscape, and their needs are catered by the hospitality industry which has well laid out chains from budget to ultra-luxury hotels, resorts and camps. Sam Sand Dunes are a major attraction for lakhs of national and international tourists, and due to such a large influx of tourists, there is plenty of garbage and food-waste generated in the region which are detrimental to the wildlife and environment, leading to an increase in the population of feral dogs and pigs.
To address this persisting problem, we, along with Sam Camp & Resort Welfare Society, initiated a workshop on ‘Food and Dry-waste Management and Reuse Technologies’ on 13 January 2021 at Sam. There are about 100 camps and resorts operating in the area that cater to the needs of budget to luxury-seeking tourists and face the problem of disposing of food and other dry waste (mostly plastics) to use environmentally sustainable methods. The camp and resort owners also face challenges in keeping the sand dunes and their surroundings clean from the litter, mostly containing plastic materials that are non-biodegradable.
Technical expert on energy technology, Mr. Rajendra Salunkhe, was invited to talk on and demonstrate various technologies used in converting both food and dry waste to energy as per the requirements of the establishments. Technologies on converting food waste to energy by the process of biogas and using dry waste to heat water or rooms was demonstrated to owners of camps and resorts. Mr. Salunkhe educated the resort owners on how food waste can be converted into gas using portable biogas models that can be built ranging from 20 cubic metre to 500 cubic metre capacity depending on the quantity of the waste generated. He also mentioned that the residue generated from this technology can be used as a good grade organic manure for gardens of the resorts or in agriculture crops. Similarly, the incinerator technology for any type of waste, including plastic and organic litter, can be used for room- and water-heating requirements of the camps and resorts. The technical expert saw the current water-heating systems of the resorts and gave necessary inputs on improving their efficiency. The office bearers of Sam Camp & Resort Welfare Society, Mr. Kailash Vyas and Gulam Khan, along with the project team helped in organising the workshop.