Spotless’ waterwise solutions

For 100 years, Spotless’ Taylors Laundry business has been keeping New Zealand clean.


From dry cleaning, to laundering, to repairs and alterations – our team at Taylors has delivered for their customers since the early-1900s. 

Today, Taylors is a very different business to the one that started in Christchurch in 1919. Processes have improved, technology has become more advanced. One big improvement, particularly in recent years, is Taylors’ sustainability initiatives.

As the largest commercial launderer by volume in New Zealand, Taylors is required to use a lot of water. Every week, approximately 310 tonnes of laundry is professionally cleaned at Taylors’ Point Chevalier facility in Auckland. Taylors also handles 100 tonnes of laundry a week at its Hamilton facility, and 30 tonnes per week in Nelson.

Rewind 10 years ago, and the Point Chevalier site was one of the biggest water users in Auckland. As a result, Taylors has implemented a range of water-saving initiatives.

“These days I doubt we’re even in the top 20. We’ve reduced our water usage by 40 or 50 per cent,” Taylors General Manager, David Phyn, says.

Another key initiative is the installation of a wastewater recycling system.

“Since installing the system, our process water (the water that goes through the washing machines) has reduced from 15 litres per kilogram of laundry to eight-to-nine litres per kilo,” Taylors’ Maintenance, Projects & Facilities Manager, Rod Gardner, says.

These aren’t the only clever water solutions that have been implemented recently by Spotless’ laundries businesses.


Dandenong’s dandy stormwater solution

Spillages are rare at our laundry sites.

But the Spotless team at Dandenong, Victoria, recently discovered a stormwater drain was in close proximity to the chemical loading point, so if a spill was to occur, there would be a risk chemicals could leak into the stormwater drain, and damage the environment.

Following an investigation, the team determined the best solution was to install a valve into the stormwater pit which is easily closed before suppliers arrive on site to unload chemicals used in laundry cleaning.

The new stormwater valve at Dandenong is simple to use, with clear instructions painted on the ground to ensure the valve is always lined up correctly.

“You can go from having the valve open to closed within seconds,” Spotless’ State Engineering and Facilities Manager, Howard Vella, says.

“The stormwater drain is normally kept open to capture rain water, but when our suppliers’ truck arrives to load our chemicals, we close the valve over the drain. Lines have been painted on the ground to ensure the valve is always lined up correctly.

“Team members have been trained in how to open and close the valve, and we also have procedures in place where our suppliers are not allowed to do any work without a Spotless person being present, which adds another dimension of protection.

“We also installed a concrete bund, which will be able to store up to 10,000 litres in the case of a spillage. This allows for any spillage to be sucked clean without going anywhere near a stormwater drain before the drain can be re-opened.”

This project demonstrates Downer’s contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals: