30th St. Pier, Gowanus Bay, Brooklyn, NY

Sunset Park

recycling, Sims, waste, garbage

Headquartered in New York City, Sims Metal Management is the world’s, as well as North America’s and Australasia’s, largest metals and electronics recycler. Sims Metal Management  has over 230 locations on 4 continents, and over 6,000 employees.
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When completed in early 2011, the eleven acre Sims Sunset Park Recycling Facility will serve as the principal processing facility for all of the City's metal, glass, and plastic recyclables.[1]  The facility will receive collections from Brooklyn by no more than 100 trucks per day, while the remainder of the City's metal, glass, and plastic recyclables will be delivered to the facility via barge from two existing Sims facilities in the Bronx and Queens.  The facility will operate 24 hours a day, six days a week. Sims Metal Management is investing $44 million to create the new 100,000-square-foot facility, which will include processing and storage buildings, and a Visitor Education Center where school groups and visitors can learn about recycling.

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Site Selection
The New York City Economic Development Corporation commissioned a study that recommended that the 88-acre South Brooklyn Marine Terminal - last used extensively for maritime purposes in 1985 - be used for handling cargo suited to the facility's relatively short docking area and shallow draft. In 2008, NYCEDC finalized an agreement for Sims to build a modern recycling center at the 30th Street Pier.  Currently, New York City spends more than $90 million each year to deliver recyclables collected by the Department of Sanitation to three different facilities in the Bronx, Queens, and Jersey City. The City is investing over $80 million on infrastructure upgrades to support the development of the Sims facility and an adjacent auto processing and cargo handling facility for the Axis Group, currently under construction.

Solid Waste Management Plan
The recycling facility is part of the City's Solid Waste Management Plan, which establishes a cost-effective, equitable, and environmentally sound system for managing the City's waste for the next 20 years, and it is a key part of the City's effort to achieve PlaNYC's goals of improving air quality, cutting traffic and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new, state-of-the-art facility located at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park will minimize the distance that collection trucks travel between pick-up sites and receiving centers, allow Sims to expand its barge and rail-based transport systems, eliminate over 260,000 vehicle miles traveled annually from City roadways.

Environmentally Friendly Design Elements
The facility, designed by Selldorf Architects, will incorporate sustainable elements including green roofs, natural lighting, renewable energy production, on-site stormwater treatment, water efficient landscaping, and the use of clean fuels such as natural gas and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel in on-site equipment. Processing operations will be enclosed to avoid dust, odors and litter.[2]

Sunset Park Waterfront Vision Plan
The reactivation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal is a central piece of the City's Sunset Park Waterfront Vision Plan announced by Mayor Bloomberg in July 2009 to revitalize Brooklyn's working waterfront. As part of the plan, the City will invest more than $165 million - with an additional $105 million in State, Federal and private funds - to activate more than 3.5 million square feet of waterfront industrial space, improve pedestrian access to the waterfront by adding 22 acres of new open space, and reduce truck traffic throughout the region by 70,000 truck trips annually. The Plan is expected to create 11,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

Community Advisory Board
Sims will establish a Community Advisory Board to provide a regular forum for communication with the Sunset Park community. This Advisory Board will be open to all Sunset Park residents.
  1. NYC.gov.  "Mayor Bloomberg Breaks Ground on New Municipal Recycling Facility in Sunset Park That Will Process all of the City's Metal, Glass, and Plastic Recyclables".  <http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/portal/site/nycgov/menuitem.c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c701c789a0/index.jsp?pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/om/html/2010b/pr444-10.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1>.  Accessed 11/8/2010.
  2. simsmm.com.  "About the Sunset Park Material Recycling Facility (MRF).  <http://www.simsmm.com/us/divisions/municipal-recycling/about-sunset-park-mrf/>.  Accessed on 11/8/2010.

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