There is concern that the adoption of waste to energy (WTE) technology, particuarly that involving the direct incineration of waste will work against efforts at increasing diversion rates. That is, since the waste is a feedstock for energy, residents may consider sending waste to an incinerator that generates energy, sustainable enough. Though Waste Diversion Ontario is already collecting important data on muncipal diversion rates, more needs to be understood about the attitudes of residents and why they do or do not divert waste in a WTE context. This study will examine such issues by exploring the self-assessed impact of having local WTE on diversion attitudes and practices . This will be done through a mail-out mail-back survey questionnaire. This study will contribute to research objective 3.
Durham: pending incineration WTE
Peel: existing and pending incineration WTE
Toronto: comparison/control community
The research involves a comparative case study design whereby residents in a ccommunity with an existing WTE incinerator will be compared to residents in a community with a WTE incinerator currently under construction. The residents will be sampled according to distance zones outward from the facility.
The dependent variable will be a “household waste diversion” index which will be correlated with various predictor variables like: proximity to the facility, existing wasting behaviours, worldviews, attitudes towards WTE, gender, age, socio-economic status.
Understanding the impacts of waste incineration on residents’recycling attitudes will help inform future waste management practices and strategies.