Justified NIMBY
While landfill developers and those in urban areas often characterize the opposition to a proposed landfill by the rural communities as “NIMBY” (not in my backyard), a critical review of the current approach for developing new landfills or landfill expansions shows that the current review/permitting process results in a justified NIMBY approach being adopted by those potentially impacted by the landfill. The authors have encountered situations where some urban landfill developers will claim that their proposed landfill will be protective of public health and the environment and that those in rural areas should not oppose thedevelopment of the proposedlandfill. If the landfill is truly protective of those within the sphere of influence of the landfill it should be possible to locate the landfill within the urban area where the wastes are primarily generated.

It is the authors’ experience that there are few individuals who would welcome the siting of a landfill adjacent to their property or areas of activity. Essentially everyone becomes a “NIMBY” when he/she learns that a landfill is proposed in his/her area. This is justified as landfills typically are adverse to the health, groundwater resources, and interests of those within the sphere of influence of the landfill. That sphere can extend several miles from the landfill.

From Guidance on the Evaluation of the Potential Impacts of a Proposed Landfill

G. Fred Lee, PhD, PE, BCEE, F.ASCE and Anne Jones-Lee, PhD  October 2008