New York City is the first in the nation to test a system, developed by this former city DOT employee, designed to minimize theft in public-share bicycle systems. Social Bicycle System (SoBi) uses GPS and mobile communications, allowing users to find and unlock bikes using their cell phones. If successful, it'll be the first method with authorization, tracking, and security attached to the bike itself.Gates Bierhuizen
On a mission to keep drugs out of drinking water, this Virginian teen recruited friends and partnered with a local pharmacy and “reverse drug distributor” Guaranteed Returns to launch a take-back program called STOP (Stop Throwing Out Pharmaceuticals). The high school sophomore, who wants to be an engineer, has so far collected more than 700 pounds of pills that the company burns for energy. He is currently helping a local hospital develop a similar program.San Diego County
They've taken on the federal government in what's believed to be one of the first unfunded mandate claims of its kind. And they've won. The Region 9 co-permittees want $9.1 million in expenses incurred in 2007-08 to meet what they say are stringent requirements of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Although the state Regional Water Quality Control Board plans to appeal the affirmative decision by California's Commission on State Mandates, the issue highlights what all stormwater agencies are facing nationwide — that cities and counties are increasingly being forced to monitor and pay for federal clean water mandates.