The city of Houston, Texas recently was awared a one million dollar grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to launch its “One Bin for All” recycling initiative. This innovative new idea, where residents use only one bin for both trash and recyclable materials, with all waste materials being sorted off site, may revolutionize how cities can take control and maximize recycling.
The awarded funds will be used to create a new recycling facility, expected to open in 2015. Houston currently has a recycling rate of fourteen percent but curb side recycling pick up is only offered to a third of them. All other residents must take their recycling to designated drop off locations.
Waste management officials in Houston are hopeful that new technologies will make the screening process in determining garbage from “gold” easier and more effective at the new facility.
Houston isn’t alone in moving to this trend. Montgomery, Alabama has already started construction on their new facility and will be moving to try to “one bin” method. Facilities operating this way use equipment such as ballistic shredders, density separators, optical scanners, and other technologies to sort waste materials into twenty different recyclable categories – including food and organic waste materials.
Once up and running, Houston hopes to reach a landfill diversion rate of seventy five percent.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Remember that there isn’t just one way to handle waste disposal and recycling. If you’re trying to cut disposal fees, it pays to look at a variety of methods and track your program for effectiveness. If something doesn’t work as well as you hoped, don’t give up – simply try something new!