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City Council Work Session
Community Sustainability Partership (CSP) Program
Colleen Sinclair, Recycling Coordinator
The Sustainability Commission has been considering options since last spring to replace the Green Expo with another program that would be better suited for Coon Rapids, and would like to discuss the Community Sustainability Partnership program (CSP) with the City Council.
Due to the amount of staff time needed, and lack of direct community tie-in, the Sustainability Commission is interested in implementing the Community Sustainability Partnership program (CSP). If approved, the CSP program would replace the Green Expo. The Commission would like to refocus its efforts on a program that places priority on the Coon Rapids community. The CSP program recognizes and promotes businesses and organizations that are making efforts to increase sustainable practices at their facilities; such as solid waste prevention/recycling, purchasing, energy and water conservation, and transportation.
CSP is a program where City staff works directly with local businesses, schools, and religious organizations. These organizations would complete an application describing their current sustainability practices, which would be ranked by the Sustainability Commission based upon several factors. Those organizations that qualify under the prescribed scoring will be recognized with a certificate and decal to display at their facility. The City would also utilize the website, newsletter, CTN and other methods to help promote those organizations and/or their sustainable activities. The Commission believes this type of program would help spotlight local businesses and increase education on sustainability practices within the community. The end goal is to promote these organizations and unite them with our residents, forming partnerships. These partnerships would result in smaller events held throughout the year that would focus on specific businesses and/or sustainability topics. Attached is a draft application the Sustainability Commission has created.
As an example, Faith Lutheran Church has been working with City staff for a couple years on adding organics recycling and waste reduction. Through this process the church has taken steps at becoming more sustainable, and has shown a desire to implement additional programs that could result in energy savings. In June of 2017 Faith Lutheran Church partnered with the Sustainability Commission to host a speaker, Paul Douglas, who delivered an educational presentation on energy savings and solar initiatives to a packed audience. At the event the Sustainability Commission hosted tables in the lobby where members of the public could ask questions on a variety of sustainable topics, and receive information on local resources (rebates, solar businesses, electric vehicles, etc.). This event proved very successful, with in excess of 250 attendees from the community.
The proposed CSP program is flexible, which fits with the ever-changing times, allowing staff to focus on areas that are seasonal, evolving and/or trending. This program entails minimal expense and staff time, as it is a partnership with local organizations.
Staff seeks City Council provide feedback on the proposed CSP, with the desire to implement the program in 2018.
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