American journal of alternative agriculture factors influencing resident attitudes regarding the land application of biosolids.



Residential household owners were surveyed in two different New Hampshire communities that varied in terms of population size, degree of rurality, and per capita income, each with no activities in land application of biosolids. Logit models were developed and logistic regression analyses were carried out for each community. The empirical results suggest that the perception by residents of the potential economic benefits and negative impacts from land application of biosolids can be very influential in achieving public acceptance. From a policymaker's viewpoint, this suggests the need for sound educational programs that explicitly describe the economic benefits, negative impacts, and potential risks that typically occur with land application of biosolids. Supportive studies are needed to complement the educational programs. These measures will allow residents to weigh the relative benefits and costs to determine their positions on this approach to management of biosolids and to discount emotional judgements and misinformation. The media needs to ensure that newspaper, magazine, and television reports are accurate and taken from reliable sources. Survey results suggest that the less volume of information presented by the media, the more supportive residents are of land application. Therefore, with such sensitivity by respondents to quantity of information, it is imperative that media outlets place high priority on the quality and accuracy of materials presented. Socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents did not influence attitudes toward acceptance or rejection of biosolids application, thus eliminating the difficulty that social stratification could cause in achieving acceptance.


Natural Resources and the Environment

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American Journal of Alternative Agriculture


Cambridge University Press

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