Plans to set up worm farms and green waste composting have seen Pacific Lakes Village in Mount Maunganui receive a $10,873 grant from the Tauranga City Council Resource Wise Community Fund.
The annual $50,000 contestable community fund supports waste minimisation initiatives in Tauranga.
Pacific Lakes Village, currently under development, is one of the newest additions to the Generus Living Group of retirement villages and the first with a sustainable approach to design.
Central to the village is the creation of its own ecosystem via a series of waterways, fed from rainwater and natural aquifers that will support the regeneration of plant and birdlife. The village community centre, The Lake House, is designed to operate off the grid with its own solar and rainwater recycling systems.
The goal of the waste minimisation project at the village is to design and introduce good waste practices that can be used across the retirement village sector.
"The first step is developing the necessary infrastructure to support behavioural change," Generus Living Group director Graham Wilkinson said.
"We are thrilled to be working with Tauranga City Council to support its Waste Management and Minimisation Plan. Sustainable awareness is rapidly increasing, but there is still a lot we must do, both as individuals and as businesses.
"Through this project, we want to empower our senior communities by providing meaningful support and tools."
The project will include the establishment of worm farms for residential kitchen waste and large-scale green waste composting trials on site, complemented by an ongoing educational programme and workshops for residents.
Sustainable irrigation solutions will also be explored.
There are many other eco-friendly features within the village, including homes pre-wired for solar, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, and community gardens and greenhouses.
Generus Living Group launched its first waste minimisation pilot in October 2019 at its sister village, Pacific Coast, also in Mount Maunganui, with a focus on reducing operational waste to landfill and improving waste management efficiencies.
As a result, 100 per cent of landscaping green waste is being diverted from landfill from the extensive 16.2ha property, and glass depositories and battery separation bins have been installed.
Considerable work has also gone into finding the best solutions for restaurant and cafe food waste.
"Our Pacific Coast team has fully embraced the operational waste challenge," Wilkinson said.
"The progress made has really demonstrated the impact we can make with simple behavioural changes and decisions.
"As a business, sustainability is important to us, and to our iwi partners, Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporation. We are committed to embedding sustainability into our organisational culture, through a shared vision for a sustainable future and our role as kaitiaki (guardian)."