• Siting;
  • trust;
  • public participation;
  • fair procedures

Over the past decade it has become increasingly difficult to site noxious facilities, despite the fact that there is a growing need to do so. To address this problem, a set of guidelines for a fairer, wiser, and more workable siting process—the Facility Siting Credo—was developed during a National Facility Siting Workshop in 1990. This paper presents an empirical test of these guidelines. A questionnaire based on the Credo was completed by stakeholders in 29 waste facility siting cases, both successful and unsuccessful, across the United States and Canada. Using an independent determination of outcome (success), a preliminary ranking of the importance of various Credo principles was obtained. The data reveal that establishing trust between the developer and host community is an important factor in facilitating the siting process. The siting process is most likely to be successful when the community perceives the facility design to be appropriate and to satisfy its needs. Public participation also is seen to be an important process variable, particularly if it encourages a view that the facility best meets community needs. Moreover, a siting process where communities volunteer to host facilities is an approach that holds promise for meeting many of these key success criteria.