Houston’s proposal to build a dirty MRF has been selected as one of 20 finalists by Bloomberg Philanthropies in its Mayors Challenge, a competition meant to encourage cities to come up with ideas to solve problems facing urban communities.
The city that wins the grand prize will receive $5 million, while four runner-up cities will receive $1 million each. Houston hopes to use the money to help build a dirty materials recovery facility (MRF) that will allow residents to place recyclables, food waste, yard trimmings and e-scrap into one bin. City officials hope that the new MRF, which will rely on “technology, not individuals,” will divert 75 percent of the city’s waste stream.
Characterizing the technology to be used in the new MRF as “game-changing,” a description from Bloomberg Philanthropies states that the new facility will improve the health and quality of life of its citizens, while diverting more waste from landfill than any other large city in the nation.
The finalists were selected from 305 submitted ideas. Winners will be selected this spring.