A comparative analysis of public concern over solid waste incinerators Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Despite a recognized need for additional waste disposal capac ity in many commumties, public concern over siting new facilities is at an all time high. There exists a substantial liter ature relating Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) reactions to sit ing proposals. However, much less is known about individual and commuriity level impacts around existing facilities. This paper presents the results of a comparative analysis of psycho social impacts (i.e. concern and distress) in two Canadian populations living in close proximity to municipal solid waste incinerators. Results show relatively low levels of impacts reported in both incinerator communities, contrary to what might be anticipated given the NIMBY literature. Determi nants of impacts in the two communities highlight the need to recognize the role of commune context in attempts to understand or mitigate impacts. Comparative analyses sub stantiate this finding, but also point to areas of similamty between the two commuriities studied. These and related findings have to date been incorporated into waste manage- merit decisions in local areas. However, additional compara tive, as well as longitudinal, research is needed to fully under stand how individuals and communities respond to waste facility sitings, and how these responses change over time.

publication date

  • August 1998