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Talking trash about landfills: Using quantitative scoring schemes in landfill siting processes

  • Marie Lynn Miranda

    (Director of Undergraduate Programs, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University.)

  • James N Miller

    (Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University.)

  • Timothy L Jacobs

    (Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University.)

Registered author(s):

    Policymakers and the public often turn to scientific experts for help in making decisions about complex policy problems. Such decisions, however, may involve trade-offs among desired goals and so require considerable technical and political judgment. Typically there is no objectively "best" answer, although some answers may be better than others. We use a case study of a landfill siting process in Orange County, North Carolina, to analyze how quantitative scoring schemes may best be used to facilitate site selection processes. Quantitative scoring schemes, used and interpreted properly, can help policymakers and the public focus their attention on central rather than peripheral issues, and thereby conduct a more informed political debate. For the quantitative scoring scheme to fulfill this role, however, the community must be explicit about how the scoring scheme will be used within the larger decisionmaking framework. Clarifying the power and limitations of quantitative scoring schemes shows promise for facilitating decisionmaking regarding other locally unpopular land use siting processes, as well as any public policy decision involving multiple objectives. © 2000 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 3-22

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:19:y:2000:i:1:p:3-22
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    1. Kunreuther, Howard & Easterling, Douglas, 1990. "Are Risk-Benefit Tradeoffs Possible in Siting Hazardous Facilities?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 252-56, May.
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