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High hopes for Quincy's new energy manager

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 18, 2011 05:35 PM

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John Sullivan, Quincy’s Trash and Recycle Manager at the Department of Public Works, has been named the new Energy Manager for the city as a part of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, a job he will do in conjunction to his current one.

Charged with reducing the city’s energy output by 20 percent in five years, the job is a daunting task, but one Sullivan seems prepared to grapple with.

Already, Sullivan is familiar with the grant program that will now provide his $75,000 paycheck. Just this past year, Sullivan spearheaded the distribution of 3,000 larger recycling barrels to Hough’s Neck and Merrimount residents to increase recycling and decrease waste processing costs.

Even then, environmental efficiency and being green were important.

“You have to stay out in front of the public with the recycling messages. If you don’t keep out front, keep pounding them with the message, they forget about it,” Sullivan said in an interview in Dec.

Now, that message is not only Sullivan’s mantra, but his job.

Yet coordinating community outreach is only one aspect of the newly appointed Energy Manager. Sullivan will also have to coordinate the city’s energy policy as well as monitor and improve upon city building energy outputs.

Although there is limited funding for city renovation projects, Mayoral spokesperson Christopher Walker said the main goal of Sullivan’s position would be policy change.

“It’s a policy position, and John will be looking at all the buildings to see in what ways we can save money and save energy in those buildings. Whether it be different kinds of lights, usage, conservation efforts, and even vehicle policy,” Walker said.

“We’ve had an existing budget and potentially longer term in whatever capital plans are put forward. But largely these are functional improvements that wouldn’t require large amounts of construction or monetary investment,” he said.

The appointment will also save the city money, as the entirety of Sullivan’s $75,000 paycheck, up from $63,000, will come out of the grant for the next two years.

However the grant has not only awarded the city a new Energy Manager.

The city will also replace the streetlights on Brewer’s corner with more energy efficient ones with the help of the $881,200 grant. The money will also go toward energy efficient windows at Quincy Community Action Program’s new HeadStart facility, and traffic synchronization systems to reduce vehicle idling.

Overall, the administration is confident that Quincy will be a greener place with Sullivan at the helm.

"John was instrumental in establishing and coordinating our environmental policy when it comes to trash collection and recycling, and I know he will take the same leadership, policy expertise, and contract knowledge to all of our government operations as we look to reduce the City's carbon footprint in coming years," said Mayor Thomas Koch in a press release.

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