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Public attitudes towards solid waste landfill infrastructure : changes in perception over space and time
2005-11, Gallagher, Louise, Ferreira, S. (Susana), Convery, Frank J.
One of the most controversial planning issues internationally is the siting of waste disposal infrastructure in local communities. Compensation is viewed as a possible solution to siting difficulties in many countries. However, existing empirical evidence is conflicting as to whether or not compensation-based siting has reduced opposition to such developments. Thus, before compensation policy can be considered as the solution for recognising social costs and introducing equity into the waste planning system, it is important to understand why people reject waste disposal infrastructure developments and if this rejection continues over the lifetime of facility operations. This paper utilises information gathered through ex-ante – ex-post surveys to fully examine the effects of distance, local authority consultation efforts, experience and other factors, on attitudes towards nonhazardous solid waste landfill developments in potential and actual host communities. Our findings suggest distance proxies expectations of environmental risk in communities with no experience of living with landfill infrastructure. Conversely, distance does not play a significant role in explaining attitudes to landfill development in communities familiar with the development. Familiarity and consultation by authorities are consistently important, even after a landfill has been in operation for a number of years, but in this case these results may capture a feeling of “having served our time” prevalent in these types of communities.