From the HuffPo:
Vote below for your favorite idea among the 20 Mayors Challenge finalists! Voting is open from February 20 through March 6.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge is a competition designed to inspire America’s mayors to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. The Huffington Post and Bloomberg Philanthropies have partnered to give readers an opportunity to select their favorite idea among the 20 finalists. Click the grid here to learn more about the 20 finalists or scroll down to watch videos from each city.
One Bin for All is a revolutionary idea for residents to discard all materials in one bin, treating “trash” as valuable assets, dramatically increasing recycling using game changing technologies.
Recycling, admittedly, is difficult. Though I am an avid recycler, I can be stumped by aluminum foil or a wet paper towel or a plastic straw. Not surprisingly, so are millions of citizens, and it is estimated that cities only effectively recycle about 30 percent of their trash.
This first-of-its-kind innovation uses technology in a way that has never been done before. Allowing technology and new process systems to sort household “trash” and derive an initial 55 percent diversion rate, and upwards of 75 percent with composting, anaerobic digestion and catalytic conversion (biomass-to-fuel) is more efficient and effective. The technologies (shredders, sensors, density separators and optical scanners) have been used previously in the waste, mining, or refining industries, but will be combined in a new process which will yield a much higher diversion rate. This system has the potential for cities across the globe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make a significant contribution to improved air quality, provide an easy-to-use program for residents, save money and increase revenues.
Our innovation will:
- Provide every residence with curbside One Bin for All services;
- Decrease the volume of waste sent to landfills and increase recycling rates;
- Improve air quality by eliminating truck routes and reducing methane emissions from landfills; and
- Manage costs associated with waste collection and disposal and recycling, saving cities money.
By building the first total material resource recovery facility in the US, Houston has the opportunity to improve the health and quality of life of its citizens, divert more municipal solid waste than any other large City in the nation, save money, change the way citizens think about materials, reduce extraction of raw materials and influence other cities to embrace this transformation.