The results are in! 2015 Environmental Attitudes Survey

What percentage of Frederictonians want glass recycling? How satisfied are residents with the city’s environmental initiatives? What kind of support is there for wind and solar projects in NB? We have the answers!

This past fall, we (Karyn, Olivia, and Pascale) created an environmental attitudes survey and distributed it door-to-door to residents of Fredericton. We braved the rain and the cold temperatures (and some sunny days, too!) and canvassed for seven weeks, from mid October until the end of November.

CCNB interns canvassing at Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, featuring our bag-like 90’s CCNB polos

CCNB interns canvassing at Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, featuring our bag-like 90’s CCNB polos

The survey gathered opinions and attitudes about the state of Fredericton’s environment and the city’s environmental initiatives from the people who live here. We also wanted to better understand what citizens want when it comes to environmental protection.

From the left, Karyn, Pascale, Olivia and Michelle leaving Conserver House for another evening of surveying

From the left, Karyn, Pascale, Olivia and Michelle leaving Conserver House for another evening of surveying

We asked residents questions about recycling and composting, green spaces and city parks, pollution, freshwater protection, and public transit. We asked whether or not environmental issues would be a priority when people head to the polls for the 2016 municipal election in Fredericton. And we asked if people would be willing to take actions over the next three years to lower their environmental impact.
We knocked on more than 1,000 doors and visited eight different wards between the south and north sides of the city. In total, we collected 163 surveys and walked down more than 40 streets.

A roughly equal number of men and women participated (47 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively) and the majority of respondents were between 55-74 years old.

Those were the nuts and bolts of the survey, now onto the fun stuff — the results.

A whopping 71 per cent of people said that environmental issues will be a priority for them when they vote in Fredericton’s municipal election in May. The majority of people showed some level of concern about preserving green spaces and city parks, lowering pollution, protecting our rivers and streams, and making public transit more accessible and affordable.

Forty (40) per cent said they were satisfied with the environmental initiatives in Fredericton with 37 per cent neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 19 per cent were dissatisfied and 4 per cent were unsure. Environmental initiatives residents would like to see implemented by the city include glass recycling; general recycling improvements (larger bins, more depots, access to recycling for people living in apartment buildings); more information on the Household Hazardous Waste program; more awareness of green spaces, city parks and general conservation; improvements to garbage pickup (separation of wet and dry waste, composting); and alternative energy and transportation (clean energy, bike lanes, public transit improvements).

Sixty-four (64) per cent of respondents said the city is not doing enough about recycling, with many saying they would like the opportunity to recycle glass in Fredericton. A vast majority — 80 per cent — said they would participate in a waste program that separates dry waste, wet waste and compost. Just over half of respondents said they felt the Household Hazardous Waste program was not accessible, stating reasons such as needing a car or not having information about the service in the first place.

Results about people’s willingness to lower their environmental impact were mixed but encouraging! Thirty per cent of people said they would install an efficient heat pump at their home, with 34 per cent of those surveyed saying they already have. More than half of respondents — 53 per cent — said they’ve already increased the energy efficiency of their home by increasing its insulation, with another 29 per cent saying they’d be willing to give it a shot. Forty per cent of people said they’re willing to buy local goods and products more often, with an encouraging 50 per cent of respondents saying they already do.

Another crisp fall afternoon- perfect for surveying!

Another crisp fall afternoon- perfect for surveying!

And, one of our favourite results — when asked if they would support NB Power buying energy from wind and solar companies, an outstanding 78 per cent of residents said ‘Yes!’

From this survey we now have a better idea of how environmental initiatives in Fredericton can be improved and what areas deserve more attention, according to the people who live here. In December, we met with Fredericton City Councillors Greg Ericson and and Kate Rogers to discuss our survey results. They were very interested in our findings and encouraged CCNB to present our results to the rest of Council, which we are looking at!

A big thank you to all residents who took the time out of their day to answer our survey. We had a positive experience and appreciate the concerns we heard.

Yours,

Karyn, Olivia, Pascale

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