The city of Houston is considering a "One Bin For All" idea that would combine recyclable items with discarded food.
The city won a one million dollar grant to study how to both increase recycling participation and save landfill space.
“The newer technologies can segregate that material into its component parts, including food,” says project manager Don Pagel.
That food matter could be used to produce methane gas. However, Pagel says the idea is still in it's infancy -- they've yet to put out bids to private contractors.
“The private sector will have the responsibility to finance, design, construct and operate this facility,” he tells KTRH News. “The city would dedicate its waste stream to this facility for a long-term contract.”
Opponents argue food would ruin the recycled paper products, and that nobody wants a job sorting trash anyway.
The demand for recycled materials also has diminished in recent years.
“In the industry that's called the 'green wall' and that 'green wall' is getting taller all the time,” says Pagel. “The United States is going to have to develop its own post-consumer waste demand market for this if we are to continue to have an effective recycling program.”
Pagel insists if it can work in Houston, it could work anywhere.