City of Houston "One Bin For All"


One Bin For All (OBFA) is the next evolution of recycling. It will allow
Houston residents to place all trash, recyclables, and compostables
in one bin, providing for a much higher rate of resource recovery.

Project Vision

 

One Bin For All (OBFA) is the next evolution of recycling. It will allow Houston residents to place all trash, recyclables, and compostables in one bin, providing for a much higher rate of resource recovery. The City of Houston has a vision for leveraging Houston’s legacy of innovation and exploration to change the way the world thinks about recycling.

 

 

Residents will be able to discard all materials in one bin, treating “trash” as valuable assets, while dramatically increasing recycling using game changing technologies.

 

 

The goals of the project include:

 

  • Significantly increase diversion and decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills;
  • Allow all residents to simply put their discarded materials into one bin (excluding heavy trash, e-waste and household hazardous waste);
  • Protect air quality by reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by organic materials in landfills, and reduce garbage and recycling truck trips;
  • Convert non-recyclables into compost and/or energy;
  • Reduce or neutralize City municipal solid waste costs through efficiencies and revenue sharing;
  • Stimulate community interest in and responsibility for reducing, reusing and recycling;
  • Create jobs; and
  • Serve as a 21st-century model to communities around the world.

 

The City will not implement any technologies that increase greenhouse gas emissions or are otherwise damaging to the environment or the City’s diverse neighborhoods. The City is committed to finding and using only those technologies that offer both a positive impact on the environment and the City’s financial future. If the City is not able to accomplish those two goals, the City will continue its commitment to traditional single-stream recycling.

Why Houston

 

Look at the City’s record. This can be done. Houston has led the world in space exploration and cancer research. And more recently, the City has taken bold new steps with municipal programs such as Rebuild Houston (a comprehensive pay-as-you-go street and drainage program), the Forensics Science Center (the creation of an independent organization to oversee the City’s crime lab operations), the Bayou Greenways (a public private partnership creating 300 miles of new trails along Houston’s bayous) and Houston’s Recovery Center (a unique sobering center for public intoxication cases). Now the City is exploring equally bold new ways to improve how the world manages solid waste.


Mayor Bloomberg praises Houston's "One Bin For All"

 

 

 

Bloomberg Challenge Application (.pdf)

 


Project Background and Timeline

 

In 2012 the City of Houston submitted a proposal to the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge suggesting that a facility could be built in Houston that would mechanically and biologically segregate Houstonís residential trash into its recyclable and energy components from one trash bin.

 

As Houston works toward developing and implementing the best new technologies to automate separation of trash, recyclables, and compostables, Houstonís curbside recycling program is expanding, with 70% of households being provided with access to single-stream curbside recycling by Spring 2014. Unfortunately most of the Cityís potential recyclables still go to landfills.

 

Houstonís recycling rate has been historically low Ė mainly because there is no dedicated fee for residential solid waste services. The current waste diversion rate is 17%, with just 6% resulting from recycling and the remainder from the recovery of yard waste. Despite decades of focus and education on recycling, the national average is not that much better at 34%. However, innovation offers new, better ways to recover assets from the waste stream that do not involve relying on the consumer to separate recyclables from trash.

 

On March 13, 2013 the City was awarded a $1 million prize from the Bloomberg Challenge for the Mayorís vision for this project. This award money is being used to develop detailed plans to bring Mayor Parkerís bold vision of curbside recycling and diversion for every Houstonian to reality and offer best practices to other municipalities considering similar projects.

 

On June 12, 2013 a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued by the City looking for qualified private sector partners to work with. Additionally, a Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued to find a consulting group to perform a third-party waste characterization and composition study to determine the composition and estimated volume of component parts of Houstonís residential waste stream.

 

On August 22, 2013, the City received Statements of Qualification (SOQ) in response to the Request for Qualifications from 11 potential private sector vendors. An evaluation committee reviewed those SOQ’s.
 
On August 29, 2013, the City received proposals from two consulting groups in response to the Waste Characterization and Composition Study RFP that was issued by the City. This study will analyze and document the components of the City’s residential waste stream to help the City and a selected development partner create detailed plans to meet the Mayor’s goals.
 
On December 18, 2013, the City Council approved a contract with Cascadia Consulting Group (www.cascadiaconsulting.com) to perform and extensive study of the City’s residential waste to determine the percentages of recyclable materials that could be available.  The final report for this study is expected in April 2014.

 

On April 11, 2014, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued by the City. Only those Proposers that were short-listed from RFQ S10-Q24644 are invited to participate in this RFP.


Contact One Bin For All

 

Candice Fehling
One Bin For All
Phone: 832.393.0940
Email: candice.fehling@houstontx.gov

 

 

 


Recycling Reimagined In Houston

 

 

Click graphic below for a full-sized version in .pdf

 

 

Recycling Reimagined in Houston


Next Steps

 

Cascadia Consulting performed a detailed Waste Characterization Study and the final report will be released April 2014.

 

On April 11, 2014, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued by the City. Only those Proposers that were short-listed from RFQ S10-Q24644 are invited to participate in this RFP.

 

The City hopes to have a facility completed and operational by the end of 2015/early 2016.


One Bin For All Media