(This article has been published in the September issue of American Recycler magazine)
By Jesse McKnight, Executive Vice President, The Saint Consulting Group
The rampant politicization of how development proposals are approved or denied in the United States poses enormous risk for those who hope to build controversial projects like a landfill or waste treatment plant.
Land use permitting is now a political process. For the most-unwanted local projects – especially a landfill, opposed by 76 percent of Americans when proposed for their hometown – it is a battleground pitting developers against highly motivated and organized citizens.
Politically savvy opponents know how to direct intense constituent pressure on local officials. They pack public hearings, generate phone calls to city councilors and town board members, and make it clear that they will vote for candidates who oppose new development. Politicians rarely will vote against the wishes of these angry voters.
So, what can you do to overcome this negative mindset?
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