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In addition to its normal duties, Sedona city staff is hard at work on identifying ways to be “green.” Andrea Costello, assistant to the city manager, heads up the Green Team on the city’s campus.

By Susan Johnson
Larson Newspapers

In addition to its normal duties, Sedona city staff is hard at work on identifying ways to be “green.”

Andrea Costello, assistant to the city manager, heads up the Green Team on the city’s campus.

In November, John Neville, president of Sustainable Arizona, was contracted to help make Sedona a leader in sustainable practices.

As a relatively young city, Sedona doesn’t have many of the problems of other cities across the United States.

john-neville-large.jpg
 
 Michele Bradley/Larson Newspapers
 

“Most cities, like St. Paul, [Minn.], are relatively old, and there are existing infrastructures to deal with and long histories of poor planning and practices from which they have to recover,” Neville said.

“Sedona is relatively young and although it has infrastructure problems and issues due to the lack of a master plan, it could be a lot worse.”

One of the most critical steps for the city to take in its quest for environmentally friendly methods is to establish metrics, Neville said.

“You don’t know where you’re going unless you measure,” Neville said. “And so, we’re creating a tabletop life-cycle analysis on what the city is doing, what its aspects are, and what’s the quickest right way to change.”

Within this measurement Costello and city staffers are looking at office supplies, vehicles, energy use, water use and other resources to find ways to conserve and become more efficient.

For instance, staff asks questions regarding office supplies, including where they come from, where they are made, what they are made of, how they are used, if the city can source it locally, if it can it be recycled and if not, if it can it be “upcycled.”

“Another focus is material useage,” Costello said. “This includes looking at how much paper we’re using, how many copies we’re making, how much printing we’re doing and where can we reduce those quantities.”

Energy is one of the high-ticket items on Costello’s hit list.

“We’re looking at gas, electricity, vehicles, heating and air conditioning and, in every case, asking the question of how can we use less,” Costello said.

Sedona’s city campus isn’t the only place where sustainability is an objective.

“The wastewater plant is a great example,” Neville said. “They’re looking at cutting energy use, cutting chemicals and taking advantage of the natural filtration elements available.”

Neville didn’t have any persuading to do when he came on board.

“Eric [Levitt, Sedona city manager], and I have been talking about this for three or four years,” Neville said. “I have rarely met people who care more.”



Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 129 or e-mail
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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