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Quincy develops "Green Guide" for sustainable living

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  July 26, 2012 04:42 PM

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For Quincy Planning Director Dennis Harrington, the idea was to create a resource for residents interested in pursuing green ideas.

Although the recent release of the city’s Green Guide website is only in its beginning stages, that idea has come into being.

Developed by Planning and Community Development staff, the website included energy saving tips for residents, information on tax credits for more energy-efficient technology, news on climate-related topics, lists of environmentally friendly foods, information on composting, and more.

Harrington hopes to expand it to include rebate forms for residents and be the go-to source for information for locals looking to conserve resources.

“We hope to have enough to populate it with a lot more information than is on it currently, and we want it to be user friendly, so people could check to see where they could get rebate forms and really expand it,” Harrington said. “It’s probably 10 percent of what we might hope it to be in a few years, and we want it to be a citizen resource, and it will be.”

Harrington said the initiative began a few months ago, but due to staff shortages, is only partially finished.

“It’s not as complete as it could be, should be, or we wanted it to be. But it’s a step in the right direction, and we’re continuing to work on it,” he said.

According to Harrington, the idea of sustainability isn’t going away anytime soon. As such, it’s not only practical for the city to start heading diligently in that direction, it’s necessary

“Sustainability and green energy are the future of cities, and the city can’t develop a sustainable way [of life], it’s a waste of money and resources,” Harrington said. “So we see [this program] has a big future.”

Elsewhere the city is committed to creating sustainable change, Harrington said.

Although Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch recently backed down from a joint proposal with Boston to build a wind turbine on Moon Island, Quincy is seeking to become a green community, Harrington said.

“They do have an energy coordinator who works within the DPW building. He’s running the department that is working with different agencies in order to have Quincy certified as a Green Community,” Harrington said.

John Sullivan, manager of energy, waste, and recycling for the city, has already started several initiatives, including that of bringing larger recycling barrels to Hough’s Neck and Merrimount residents.

In early 2011, Sullivan was also charged with reducing the city’s energy output by 20 percent in five years.

Residents need to help too, Harrington said, and the best way to do that is to give them the information.

“This was to provide an access point for citizens which simply didn’t exist. We wanted it to be a completely user-friendly access point,” Harrington said. “People at 9 p.m. at night, they start checking out websites and they are looking for information … [and] the only way to provide information is electronically. This is our beginning effort, and we think it will be really successful.”

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