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One bin to resolve city's recycling problem

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The "One Bin for All" video is what made Houston a finalist in a competition against 300 other cities.

Mayor Annise Parker submitted the two minute piece to the Bloomberg Philanthropies'' Mayors Challenge aimed at improving city life and solving one local issue.

"We wanted to take one of our biggest problems which is recycling, and figure out a new way, an innovative way to solve it," said Houston Sustainability Director Laura Spanjin.

She says only 14-percent of residents recycle. But that could all change in the next three years. The "One Bin for All" program would allow residents to throw all trash and recycling in one bin.

"Instead of having you and I make millions of decisions everyday about what's trash or what's recycling, we let technology do that," said Spanjin.

It's a win-win for people who already take the time to recycle.

"Having to separate it all before taking it out becomes cumbersome so I think at the end if we hit one can and have someone else do it for us that's great," said Skip Zahn, who does his best to recycle.

The city is hoping to team up with the private sector to do so. They want them to build a facility at one of the major landfills with the technology to sort trash into streams, and then share the revenue from the sale of commodities.

It would help Houston be a little greener.

"Co2 emissions reductions are equal to 5,000 vehicles removed from the road annually," the video said.

The idea is quickly gaining support, launching Houston to one of the top 20 finalists. One city will receive $ 5Million toward their project and four other cities $1 Million.

It is funds the city says would make this innovative idea a reality in the near future.

Voting for the top 20 innovative ideas began February 20. A winner will be announced in April.

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