Some new additions to the South Portland Sustainability Office can only mean one thing: new installments to our Sustainability Staff Spotlight series.

Susan Parmelee Courtesy photo

This week, we’re featuring Susan Parmelee, the city’s sustainability program manager who joined our team in October. She works to implement One Climate Future, our joint climate action plan with the city of Portland, through waste reduction programming and managing our city’s water and electricity benchmarking.

Mia: What were you doing before joining the SoPo sustainability office?

Susan: I was working for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as a landfill licensing and compliance specialist, where I oversaw over half the active landfills in Maine. Before that, I was connecting residents to curbside composting programs in New York City, and did recycling tagging for ecomaine when I first moved to Maine.

Mia: What brought you to South Portland?

Susan: South Portland is at the forefront of sustainability in Maine, and as a resident I have been following One Climate Future and seeing how all of the initiatives and programs have become a reality. I am really excited to be a part of that process and become more involved in my community.

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Mia: What has been your favorite part of working in the SoPo Sustainability office so far?

Susan: I think what I really like about the sustainability office is that it’s so interconnected with the other departments. It seems like every project is in collaboration with another department and that’s been great for getting to know people and their roles while getting feedback from them. It feels like an integral step in creating a program that will be successful and sustainable.

Mia: What are you most excited to get started on?

Susan: A lending library of electric tools in South Portland. I’ll be working on the grand opening in the spring and figuring out logistics. More to come on that soon.

Mia: How can South Portland residents interact with you/your work?

Susan: Call me or email me or say hi to me if you see me out and about. I also facilitate the city’s Waste Reduction Committee which has open spots right now.

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The purpose of the Waste Reduction Committee is to assist the city in transitioning to a zero-waste community by examining opportunities to minimize waste while changing how the community consumes and disposes of goods and services. If you are interested in applying for a spot on the Waste Reduction Committee, visit southportland.org/board-and-committees.

As a South Portland resident, Susan spends lots of time perusing what our city has to offer. Here are some of her favorites.

Favorite local business: Mill Creek True Value – they have everything including a cat named Daniel with a bow-tie collar.

Favorite coffee shop: Verbena

Favorite food/restaurants: Solo Cucina Market

Favorite place to recreate: It’s a tie between the Green Belt and Spring Point

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability topics and initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram and Facebook @soposustainability.

Mia Ambroiggio is part-time South Portland Sustainability Office staff member. She can be reached at [email protected]

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