Bloomberg reveals opening of state-of-the-art recycling facility
New York, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, deputy mayor for operations Cas Holloway and sanitation commissioner John Doherty unveiled the opening of the new, state-of-the-art Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility, which will serve as the principal processing facility for all of New York City's curbside residential metal, glass, and plastic recyclables. The waterfront, barge-based facility has the capacity to process 1,000 tons of recyclable material every day, marking the first time in the history that the city has a facility located in the five boroughs that can process and recycle all of its metal, glass and plastic. This facility is a key component of the city's Solid Waste Management Plan and will help to eliminate over 150,000 annual truck trips from city streets. The opening of the Sims plant builds on the recent launch and success of a series of recycling initiatives including expanding the program to include all rigid plastics, putting up 4,000 new recycling containers on city streets in the next two years, creating the first wide-scale curbside organics collection program serving city schools, agencies and low and high-rise residential buildings, and a program for electronic waste. These efforts along with the opening of the Sims facility will allow the city to increase the amount of metal, glass and plastics recycled in New York City by 50% in the next five years.
"This state-of-the-art facility is a critical part of our comprehensive solid waste management plan and the foundation of the next generation of recycling in New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New Yorkers can now recycle all rigid plastics, and soon thousands of school children will be able to come here to learn how to recycle. I want to thank SIMS and Commissioner John Doherty - the best Sanitation Commissioner the City has ever had - for their hard work in creating this facility, which will make our city more sustainable and help us continue cleaning our air."
"Recycle, reuse, recycle, and re-use again - thanks to this facility that virtuous cycle can now expand to hundreds of products New Yorkers use by the thousands every day," said Deputy Mayor Holloway. "Before this year all of those products were waste that was buried in the ground. Now they will be part of a continuous cycle that will make New York City more sustainable for the long term."
"The Department of Sanitation is committed to making our great city cleaner and greener and this new state-of-the-art recycling facility will move us ever closer to achieving the Mayor's goal of diverting 30 percent of our waste from going to landfills in other parts of the country at an ever growing cost," said Sanitation Commissioner Doherty.
The opening of the Sims plant builds on the recent launch and success of a series of recycling initiatives including expanding the program to include all rigid plastics, putting up 4,000 new recycling containers on City streets in the next 2 years, creating the first wide-scale curbside organics collection program serving City schools, agencies and low and high-rise residential buildings, and a program for electronic waste. These efforts along with the opening of the Sims facility will allow the city to increase the amount of metal, glass and plastics recycled in New York City by 50% in the next five years.
"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 the 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."
"The Sunset Park facility has been nearly 10 years in the making," said Tom Outerbridge, General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling. "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."
"Here in Brooklyn, when we 'green it', we 'mean it'!" said Borough President Marty Markowitz. "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, Commissioner Doherty, Sims Metal Management and all others who made this day a reality."
"The state-of-the-art Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility will continue the reactivation of New York City's working waterfront, bringing innovative industries, economic activity, and jobs to the Brooklyn waterfront," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. "Of course, the new recycling facility, which will transport most recyclables via barge, will also go a long way towards reducing the City's environmental footprint and increasing our sustainability. EDC is proud to have helped facilitate the creation of this cutting-edge facility, which will strengthen New York's position as a model of sustainability for other cities and generate both economic and environmental benefits for New Yorkers."
"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," said Ron Gonen, Sanitation Deputy Commissioner for Recycling and Sustainability.
Designed by Selldorf Architects, the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility was built to optimize environmental performance. The Material Recovery Facility generates a portion of its energy on site from solar and wind.
The buildings are made from 99 percent recycled American-made steel, and were elevated by four 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 storm-water management, the City's largest solar power installation (600kW), and a wind turbine (100kW) planned for 2014. The facility won the NYC Excellence in Design Award in 2010.
The facility will utilize its waterfront location to transport the majority of recyclables via barge. The facility will also utilize newly renovated freight rail on the Brooklyn waterfront for export of processed recyclables. Opening the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility will remove approximately 240,000 miles of annual Sanitation Department vehicle travel from city roadways decreasing traffic congestion, fuel consumption, and vehicle emissions.
The 11-acre facility is located in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The Recycling Education Center will be open for school groups as well as tours for other organizations and visitors. It will be a world class educational facility where New Yorkers can observe and learn about how material is recycled.
Sims Metal Management is an Australian domiciled corporation with nearly 100 years of recycling experience. With 150 facilities across North America alone, Sims Metal Management is the world's largest metals and electronics recycler. In addition to growing its business internationally, Sims Metal Management advocates for innovative recycling solutions and is committed to the environment, sustainability and health of the communities in which it does business. In 2013, for the fifth consecutive year, Sims Metal Management was recognized as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Sims Metal Management is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Story ran in the Front Section section on 12/24/2013