CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to clarify that the "One Bin For All" program would allow residents to throw trash, recyclables, and organic waste in one bin.
- Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker attempted to implement a "One Bin for All" program in the city, and on her last day in office, released a 10-page report stating the program "would employ game-changing technology to allow for the disposal of all residential waste—both organic and recyclable—in one bin."
- Despite efforts, "One Bin" was not officially implemented under Parker's watch. The city is currently negotiating for a sorting facility with a proposal now in consideration — a deal that would be privately financed, according to the report.
- The new Mayor Sylvester Turner is not pushing to move the project forward, and Texas Campaign for the Environment is actively opposing One Bin For All due to the contamination issue that they feel, contradictory to the report authors, would challenge the city to meet its 75% diversion rate. The group’s director, Melanie Scruggs, is calling for a three-bin program instead.
While the idea of programs such as "One Bin for All" is beneficial for customers — eliminating confusion on how to separate waste by allowing them to dispose of trash, recyclables, and organics all in one bin — it may not be proftiable for businesses or cities. In October, Infinitus Energy LLC had to "temporarily" close its $35 million "dirty MRF" in Montgomery, AL, designed to separate "one bin" waste, because of market prices and contamination. Following this closure, recycling advocates in Indianapolis, IN urged city officials to back away from a dirty MRF deal with Covanta.
Mayor Turner, whose predecessor expressed enthusiasm over the program, said he is focused on two other priorities at this time, which will cause the "One Bin" program to be put on the back burner.
While Scruggs questions the delay, she is happy about it.
"We as an environmental organization are opposed to mixed waste processing on the front end because, just like a lot of recycling companies and trade associations have said, the contamination levels are high and diversion levels are low unless you're burning it," Scruggs said to Waste Dive.