Rick Person didn't stop working when he retired after nearly 30 years from his job as program administrator of the Waste Management and Recycling program for the city of St Paul. Instead, he became a member of RETAP — the Minnesota Retiree Environmental Technical Assistance Program — offering his talent and experience to help others reduce their impact on the environment.
RETAP employs retired environmental professionals to provide free energy, water and waste reduction assessments to small businesses and institutions in Minnesota. RETAP assessments include a thorough review of utility bills, a site visit and a written report with recommended changes and estimated financial and environmental savings. The program is funded and administered by the MPCA.
After Rick retired from the city of St Paul in 2009, he initially joined the MPCA’s Community Sustainability Assistance group, helping Minnesota cities and counties become more sustainable. A joint Community Sustainability/RETAP project in 2010 that put together an energy assessment and greenhouse gas reduction plan for the Dodge County Recycling Center prompted Rick to focus more time on RETAP assessments, though he remains a member of the Community Sustainability team.
In addition to conducting assessments for RETAP, Rick has the added responsibilities of co-coordinating the RETAP program. This includes assigning teams for each assessment, keeping tabs on ongoing assessments, and working on process improvements for the program and the reports written for each client. One example is the waste reduction-reuse-recycling checklist for RETAP assessments he created, which is used by fellow RETAP members when they develop recommendations for their assessment clients.
Rick volunteers with many church and civic groups, including the St. Louis Park Planning Commission, the Eureka Recycling board, Habitat for Humanity and Urban Homeworks. He and his wife, Barb, like to golf, play tennis, bike and travel in the U.S. and abroad. They also have three young grandsons who keep them busy!
Proving there is always more to learn, Rick says, “I particularly enjoy working with and assisting our excellent team of RETAP consultants to complete their projects and reports. I am constantly learning so much from them about building energy efficiency and applying what I learn to the project reports I work on or write.”
RETAP can help
If you know a small business, civic building, church or school interested in finding out if their boiler, doors and windows, recycling program, or lighting are working at their best, have them contact RETAP at 612-781-1307.