Houston Taps Consulting Firm GBB

City seeks strategic assistance to increase recycling levels through its "One Bin for All" initiative.

July 3, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Municipal / IC&I

The consulting firm Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc. (GBB) has been selected by the GeoTechnical Research Institute (GTRI), under the auspices of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), to provide consulting assistance to the City of Houston for its "One Bin for All" initiative. The initiative uses mechanical biological treatment with advanced resource recovery processing for residential municipal solid waste.

The project includes developing a cost-neutral procurement process for a multi-year contract for the processing of the city's residential waste and ensuring that a waste diversion goal of 55 percent is reached in the first year of the program and 75 percent after two years.

"GBB has brought to the city significant strategic procurement expertise, a mindset that matches the city's innovative and forward-thinking vision for long-term sustainability, and a solid track record of successful programs and services implementations to help the city," says Deputy Director Don Pagel, the city's program manager for "One Bin for All."

Under "One Bin for All" city residents discard all materials in one bin, which the city feels will sharply increase recycling levels. The concept, introduced by the City of Houston, was one of five winners of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge. By winning the award the city received a $1 million innovation grant from the Bloomberg Foundation and is supplementing it with U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant funding to help implement the idea.

"Mayor Annise Parker set forth a very ambitious project with the "One Bin for All" project for a total material resource recovery facility in the U.S., and we are honored to have been selected to work with the City of Houston," says Harvey Gershman, GBB president.

The city of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) has a $65.5 million annual budget and provides solid waste services to about 423,000 households, of which 376,820 are directly serviced by the SWMD with garbage, yard trimmings, and tree waste/junk waste collection. About 205,000 households are currently provided curbside recycling collection, and that program is also being expanded to additional households.

GTRI, based in The Woodlands, Tex., has partnered with Houston to contract with GBB to assist with the "One Bin for All" Project.