Nau mai, haere mai. On 1 October, Housing New Zealand joined HLC and KiwiBuild to form Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

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Dunedin doing their bit for the environment

The environment is administrator Gaylene Smith’s passion. Through her passion and enthusiasm, Gaylene is educating Dunedin Housing Maintenance Contractors (DHMC) on how they can also play a part in caring for the environment.

Gaylene from DHMC

Operations Manager Gerry O’Connell says Gaylene instigated some small changes that got everyone talking more about recycling and making a real difference.

Three times a week, a mobile coffee van visits the Dunedin office. Gaylene collected two weeks’ worth of coffee cups and put them on display to show just how much waste from one small item is going into the landfill.

Gerry says having the used coffee cups on show was quite confronting and triggered a change from disposable to reusable cups.

“Just a simple change like this can save approximately 1,500 disposable cups a year from the DHMC office going into the landfill. Small changes can make a massive difference,” he says.

Gaylene’s proactive approach also sees her taking home other recyclable items such as used milk containers and glass bottles that were previously put in the general waste bin. The office now also has a bucket for food scraps, which another staff member takes home for their chickens.

Gerry says the DHMC team takes their hat off to Gaylene for motivating them to become more proactive towards recycling and the environment.

DHMC says they are also doing their bit to cut down on paper by using technology to make some processes paperless.

“We can now upload all documentation straight into the system so it’s all loaded against a specific work order. This means staff can work remotely and still have access to all relevant information,” Gerry says.

Used coffee cups that are now replaced with reusable cups

“We’ve also introduced a mobile app for our trades which allows them to receive jobs instantly, invoice a job and input the stage a job is at – completed, onsite, invoiced etc. This process has greatly improved our ability to get information to trades more quickly and at the same time keep paper waste down.”

And more innovation is on the horizon at DHMC with a timesheet app for trades, which will save paper and reduce the time contractors spend visiting the office to complete their timesheet.

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