Waikato Waste Website A Success

The Waste Exchange website, www.nothrow.co.nz, developed for Environment
Waikato has proved itself a success. The website connects the producers
of waste materials with other companies who can reuse those materials,
reducing the need to landfill harming the environment. Like the saying
goes, "One persons rubbish is another's treasure".

Landfilling is likely to reduce in other regions of New Zealand as more
councils start using the same technology and business structure to
redirect waste. Regions including Napier, Hastings and Gisborne have
recently signed onto the idea and more regional and city councils have
expressed an interest to follow suit.

The last Waste Exchange annual report indicates a 100% growth in
registrations and an astronomical growth in website usage. The
increased use of the website has seen a decline of incoming calls to the
0800 hotline, decreasing the ventures overall running costs.

The Waste Exchange website allows people to register, search and make
direct enquiries online, without requiring any input from the
administrators. This gives users 24/7 access making the service more
reachable. Statistical usage of the website is closely monitored by
finetuned reports of database access and traditional website traffic

Web based workflow management enables administrators to browse recent
enquiries and complete followup calls. The addition of the workflow
management is considered "incredibly helpful" by the project
co-ordinator Pippa Russell, who now has more time to market the service
rather than completing routine administration.

Once a registered user logs in, the website personalises itself showing
branding for the local councils with local news. Searches are filtered
by region and allow users to search all regions and make inter-region
enquiries. The service is free to use, and online registration provides
immediate access.

The website was developed by Xoren Internet Solutions Group, www.xoren.co.nz
using open source methodolgies including java, apache, tomcat, linux and
postgresql. In addition they used inhouse libraries that speedup development
of projects requiring integration of web, database and email.

When new regions came on board, requiring their own brands on the website,
chose their inhouse content management system, www.webwidgets.co.nz, to
allow different regions to have their own "look and feel skins", and to
maintain their own news and links. "Web Widgets saved our customer
considerable cost" says senior developer Reuben Jackson, as they didn't
have to "reinvent the wheel". Reuben also notes that he enjoyed working on
this project as it was "good for the environment".

Xoren has also completed other recent projects including Waikato ExpressWay
for Transit NZ
(waikato.transit.govt.nz) and an interactive Auckland Portal
Further enquiries on the development of this project can be made
to rj@xoren.co.nz or 0800 21 99 66 and enquiries about the Waste Exchange
service can be made to pippa@nothrow.co.nz or 0800 NOTHROW (0800 668 4769)

Posted: Tue 11 Mar 2003