Mayor's Office

Press Release

Houston Selected as One of Five Winners and the Fan Favorite in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge
$1 Million Prize Awarded for the City’s Revolutionary One Bin for All Idea

 

 

March 13, 2013 -- Mayor Annise Parker today announced that Houston’s One Bin for All idea is one of the five winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities to improve the well-being of the nation. Houston was selected as a Mayors Challenge winner out of a pool of over 300 applicant cities, based on four criteria: vision, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication. Houston 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 One Bin for All idea as well as featured coverage and promotion from The Huffington Post, including a monthly front page column for a year and an interview with Arianna Huffington on Huff Post Live. The City will also receive a sculpture created by world-renowned designer Olafur Eliasson to commemorate each of the Mayors Challenge winners.

 

“I am thrilled that Houston has been selected as a Mayors Challenge winner," said Mayor 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, reduced 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 R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. “Achieving a 75% recycling recovery rate in Houston would represent a huge leap forward in urban sustainability practices.”

 

One Bin for All utilizes game-changing 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 our 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, with 305 cities representing 45 states submitting applications last September. Providence was awarded the $5 million grand prize, while Chicago, Philadelphia, and Santa Monica were also awarded $1 million prizes.To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge.

 

The Mayors Challenge Fan Favorite Selection, launched in partnership with The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com/mayors-challenge), allowed citizens to learn more about the bold and innovative ideas of the 20 Mayors Challenge finalists and vote for their favorite. Over 58,000 votes were cast between February 20 and March 6.

 

The Mayors Challenge is the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. Other Mayors Project investments include Cities of Service, Innovation Delivery Teams, and Financial Empowerment Centers.

 

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies is on a mission to improve and lengthen lives. We focus on five key areas to create lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation, which includes the Mayors Challenge, and Arts & Culture. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2012, $360 million was distributed. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org.

 

For more information on Bloomberg Philanthropies, media should contact Meghan Womack, meghan@bloomberg.org.

 

About Houston
With a population of 2.2 million people, Houston ranks as the nation’s 4th largest city. Known as the Energy Capital of the World, Houston is an entrepreneurial, diverse, cosmopolitan city where no one ethnic or racial group holds a majority. Twenty-five Fortune 500 companies call Houston home. It is also the site of NASA headquarters - the facility responsible for putting the first man on the moon - the Port of Houston and the 47 research and treatment institutions that comprise the world-renowned Texas Medical Center.