The environment ranked low on a list of issues that concern Nanaimo residents the most, according to a survey conducted last year by Ipsos Reid.
Social issues and the economy ranked at the top of the poll that focused on people's commitment to being green when the topics were left up to the respondents. Environmental issues became more important later in the survey when interviewers asked about the topic specifically.
The poll found that 6% of respondents said environmental issues were important to them, compared to the 20% who identified social issues as important.
When specifically asked about the environment, 51% of people said it was an important issue, followed again by social issues, which was identified as an important issue among 87% of respondents.
Water pollution topped the list of the most important environmental issues, followed by drinking water quality and the need for more recycling.
City planning director Andrew Tucker presented the survey results Monday to council members. Staff said they used the information to direct their recommendations for a pesticide bylaw that is likely to pass in coming weeks.
"This survey shows us that we already have a lot of people in Nanaimo not using pesticides," Tucker said.
Seventy-five per cent of respondents said they are concerned about pesticide use in their community.
Forty-six per cent of people said they had used non-chemical products on their lawns. Of those questioned, 79% supported a pesticide bylaw.
Residents think they do very well when it comes to recycling, but gave their local government a lower grade for its efforts. Ninety-eight per cent of respondents said they are at least doing the most they can do.
Sixty-four per cent said they were somewhat satisfied with the city's services to reduce household waste.
Residents were concerned about the environment, but fewer people were willing to pay for solutions. Only 38% of respondents said they were willing to raise taxes to address the environmental issues.
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