This paper examines ethical concerns of the utilitarian paradigm, the greatest good for the greatest number, advocated by many proponents and consultants in siting landfills. The implications of the consequentialist utilitarian approach are considered through the examination of a landfill-site-search case study in Ontario, Canada. Limitations to such an approach, in terms of differing values, equal consideration, equitable participation, distributive justice and the emphasis on non-quantifiable factors are discussed. Recommendations to improve the process are made based on the ethical analysis of the case study.

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Journal of Business Ethics
Sprott School of Business

McKay, R. (2000). Consequential utilitarianism: Addressing ethical deficiencies in the municipal landfill siting process. Journal of Business Ethics, 26(4), 289–306. doi:10.1023/A:1006345600415