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“There's just hope that no one's health is at risk”: residents' reappraisal of a landfill siting

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This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study of psychosocial effects in a population living near the Taro Aggregates Ltd. East Landfill site in Stoney Creek, Ontario. The scope of this research is based on the need for additional comparative, as well as longitudinal, studies measuring individual and community response to the process of site-related decision making, and how these responses change over time as individuals and communities learn to live with the landfill. Pre- and post-surveys were completed by area residents before and after the landfill was sited. Follow-up qualitative interviews contextualised and punctuated the quantitative findings. Results reveal the landfill prompted little change in concerns over time, but an increase in landfill-related health concerns. These findings imply an ongoing process of cognitive reappraisal due to a combination of contextual (e.g. perceived lack of meaningful involvement in the siting process, poor operational practices), compositional (e.g. socio-economic status, dwelling tenure), and collective (e.g. distrust, loss of social network) factors.
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Keywords: landfill; psychosocial; reappraisal; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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