WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
As necessary as they are, recycling centers can prove
to be a controversial addition to a neighborhood. So
it’s important for project leaders to build stakeholder
support, says Mike Mitchell, executive director of
the Oak Park, Illinois, USA-based Illinois Recycling
Association, a non-profit advocacy group.
“Communities have a lot of concerns when a
new recycling facility is proposed,” he says, noting that fears about pollution, litter, noise and
increased truck traffic can harden opposition.
Unfortunately, not all project leaders are
proactive in addressing such fears, and that can
lead to delays. In Askar, Bahrain, city officials
and environmentalists blocked plans for a $750
million recycling plant until it was moved to a
Mr. Mitchell contends that with proper public
communication, such pushback can be avoided.
“Project leaders need to educate the community about how the operations are environmentally
friendly,” he says.
Facility planners should also make an effort to
design sites that minimize residential disruption
by adding frontage roads for truck traffic and
moving drop-off points to the rear of the facility.
“If you show the public that you understand their
concerns and are anticipating potential problems,
you can minimize the perceived risks involved with
the project,” he says.
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