Houston’s “One Bin for All” Concept Wins Bloomberg Philanthropies Prize

Houston’s “One Bin for All” Concept Wins Bloomberg Philanthropies Prize

Recycling concept is selected as the Fan Favorite and one of five Mayor’s Challenge Competition winners.

March 19, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Municipal / IC&I

Houston Mayor Annise Parker has announced that the city’s “One Bin for All” waste and recycling concept is one of the five winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’  Mayors Challenge, a competition designed to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas.

Houston was selected as a Mayors Challenge winner out of a pool of more than 300 applicant cities, based on four criteria: vision, ability to implement, potential for impact and potential for replication. The city will receive a $1 million innovation prize to help implement its “One Bin for All” idea. As the winner of the Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite Selection, Houston will receive a $50K in-kind grant from IBM to support the implementation of its idea as well as featured coverage and promotion from The Huffington Post. Houston also will receive a sculpture created by designer Olafur Eliasson to commemorate each of the Mayors Challenge winners.

“I am thrilled that Houston has been selected as a Mayor’s Challenge winner," says Parker. “One Bin for All” is a first-of-its kind innovation that will revolutionize the way we handle trash, achieving high-volume recycling and waste diversion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower operating costs. I am anxious to begin implementation because I know this cutting-edge technology has the potential to improve health and quality of life, not only in Houston, but around the world.”

“Recycling has often been treated as an individual responsibility, like paying taxes. But Mayor Parker’s innovative “One Bin for All” idea turns that notion on its head," said Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. “Achieving a 75 percent recycling recovery rate in Houston would represent a huge leap forward in urban sustainability practices.”

According to a press release issued by the city, the One Bin for All concept uses new technology to separate trash from recyclables, allowing residents to discard all materials in one bin. The anticipated end result is a dramatic increase in the amount of waste diverted from landfills. Implementation will be achieved through a public/private partnership.

The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were eligible to compete. Providence was awarded the $5 million grand prize, while Chicago, Philadelphia and Santa Monica were also awarded $1 million prizes.

The Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite Selection was launched in partnership with The Huffington Post. More than 58,000 votes were cast between February 20 and March 6.