It means that people with money and political power have the power to say “not in my back yard” to projects like landfills, powerplants, etc. So these projects end up in the back yards of people without money or power. This is the cause of environmental justice issues.
It’s not always just the people with money and power that fall victim of the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome. It reflects the inclination of local citizens and officials to insist on placing unwanted but necessary facilities anywhere but in their own community. Usually the term is used relation to the siting of facilities that have a potential for adverse impacts on the environment, such as municipal waste incinerators and hazardous waste facilities. But it is equally applicable, and perhaps more controversial, when it comes to the siting of prisons, methadone clinics, and psychiatric halfway houses— all of which are often subject to intense local opposition.
NIMBY or “Not In My Back Yard” refers to not wanting additional development close to where someone lives. For example there could be a wind farm purposed in an area and a resident of the area claims they do not want it because it will create visual disturbance. The person may understand that wind farms produce renewable energy but does not want them “disturbing” their scenery so they say, “build it, just not in my back yard”.
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