Waste management and treatment is a local issue with global implications. As the world’s population grows, the amount of waste it creates also increases. In particular, in 2015, 2 billion tons of waste was generated worldwide, while this number is expected to ascend every year (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). Therefore, building a waste-treatment plant in the City of Ottawa is urgently needed to prevent serious risks to public health and the environment. In the process of creation of such exogenous projects, decision-making is a difficult task due to the necessary compromise between socio-political, ecological, and economic factors.
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The first step is to identify and engage stakeholders, who can be city officials, along with Mayor Jim Watson, waste treatment experts, and local citizens. This phase is essential to ensure implementation and long-term support for the project (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). Apart from it, stakeholder participation should follow several principles, including inclusiveness and open discussion, reinforced by accurate and timely information (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). As a result, different alternative perspectives on aspects of building a waste-treatment plant in the region will help Mayor Jim Watson to shape solutions. It will improve the quality of the final result and consider the views of all stakeholders.
The next step is to define specific goals and possible aspects of building a waste-treatment plant in the region. It involves, in particular, the type of treatment, which can be physical – grinding, chemical – incineration, or biological, for instance, US EPA 2017f, AD (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). In addition, economic aspects need to be identified, including construction, equipment, and labor costs (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). Finally, demographic data and other issues affecting the effectiveness of the project are evaluated at this stage.
Further, in order to maximize the effectiveness of the technological, socio-economic, and environmental aspects identified at the previous stage, it is necessary to involve the groups of stakeholders attracted in the first step. Within their competence, they will engage in reasoning, analysis, and expressing their opinions (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). At the same time, in case of the emergence of opposing points of view, the search for the optimal solution includes meeting most goals without violating others.
The suggested recommendation in the designed process for Mayor Jim Watson is an example of a rational decision-making model. It includes defining the problem, which is building a waste-treatment plant in the region, criteria, in particular technological, socio-economic, and environmental aspects, the development of alternatives by groups of stakeholders. Finally, the last step is the determination of the best solutions. The cons of the design comprise of the need for a considerable amount of time. Simultaneously, the pros contain minimizing the possibility of erroneous assumptions, which can lead to wrong decisions and uncertainties, and considering the views of all stakeholders with diverse interests.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). Best practices for solid waste management: A guide for decision-makers in developing countries [PDF document]. Web.