New York City officials held a news conference Dec. 12, 2012, to officially open Sims Metal Management’s Sunset Park material recovery facility (MRF) in Brooklyn, N.Y. Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway and other local officials joined executives from Sims Metal Management and its Sims Municipal Recycling division at the event.
According Sims, headquartered in New York, the Sunset Park MRF will serve as the principal processing facility for all of the city’s curbside residential metal, glass and plastic recyclables as part of a long-term contract between Sims Municipal Recycling and the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY). The facility has the capacity to process 1,000 tons of material per day.
New York City and Sims have invested $110 million in the facility. The New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) and the city’s Department of Small Business Services (SBS) also were instrumental in the development of the project, which Sims says is the largest facility of its kind in the nation.
In prepared remarks, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, said, “Here in Brooklyn, when we ‘green it’, we ‘mean it’! Forgive us for ‘trash-talking’, but we can’t help but boast about the new Sims Municipal Recycling facility, a sustainably built, job-creating hub for our city’s recycling efforts on Brooklyn’s vibrant waterfront. Sunset Park’s latest addition is a boon to our local environment, reducing truck traffic and emissions while encouraging our next generation to learn about the recycling process in a first-hand way. Thank you to Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Holloway, (DSNY) Commissioner Doherty, Sims Metal Management and all others who made this day a reality.”
Ron Gonen, DSNY Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability, said, “This is a perfect example of a public private-partnership that will serve to protect our environment while also creating local jobs and generate revenue for the city.”
The recycling facility will transport most recyclables via barge, which is expected to lessen the city’s environmental footprint. The MRF also will use newly renovated freight rail on the Brooklyn waterfront for exporting processed recyclables. The move to rail and barge is expected to reduce DSNY vehicle traffic on city roadways by roughly 240,000 miles annually, the city estimates.
“Sims is very proud of the economic and environmental sustainability of the facility, and we anticipate it will dramatically enhance the recycling efforts of New York City,” said Bob Kelman, president of Sims North America Metals business unit. “We see ourselves as leaders in the global recycling industry, and there is no better place to set a new standard than in New York City.”
Tom Outerbridge, general manager of Sims Municipal Recycling, said, “The Sunset Park facility has been nearly 10 years in the making. We think the result is something everyone can be proud of. We look forward to being a vibrant part of this community and to serving the entire city as it continues to build a world class recycling program.”
The MRF, designed by Selldorf Architects, was built to optimize environmental performance. The buildings are made from 99-percent-recycled American-made steel and were elevated by 4 feet using a blend of recycled glass and crushed stone from Second Avenue tunneling operations. As a result, the buildings and equipment were undamaged by Hurricane Sandy. Other sustainable strategies include the creation new marine habitat, on-site stormwater management, one of the city’s largest solar power installations (600kW) and a wind turbine (100kW) planned for 2014.
The facility won the NYC Excellence in Design Award in 2010.