Located at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, a state-of-the-art recycling facility is being built which will mitigate the City’s recyclables management traffic and create jobs.
At the 30th Street Pier of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT), a new recycling facility will be built using sustainable design practices to minimize environmental impact. Investments in the terminal site will enable much of the City’s recyclables to travel to the facility via waterways, displacing 150,000 annual truck trips and thereby having a positive impact on street congestion.
Built in the 1960s, SBMT was used as a container terminal until it was closed operationally in the 1980s. For the past 20 years, the site has been used as a tow-pound facility by the New York Police Department.
Now the entire 88-acre facility is being reactivated. The development of the recycling facility was part of the Mayor’s PlaNYC2030 initiative to address waste management in the City. It will occupy 11 acres of SBMT and the remaining 77 acres will be leased to Axis Group, an import/export firm. Because of its location, the facility will utilize maritime transportation to bring a portion of the recyclables to the facility. Maritime transportation is a sustainable and cost effective way to move freight. By utilizing New York's waterways, the new facility will displace 260,000 vehicle miles annually traveled on inner city roadways. This will have a positive impact on infrastructure maintenance, fuel consumption, congestion, and vehicle emissions.
The facility will include classroom space where New York schoolchildren will get first-hand experience with the recycling process. The Department of Education is developing a curriculum where schoolchildren will learn the theory of recycling in class, then see how recycling takes place at the facility. One to two classes will visit the recycling plant each day and bus parking has been accommodated in the design plans.
Sims Metal Management is the processor of all plastic, metal, and glass collected by the Department of Sanitation. The City selected Sims to be the operator of the new city-owned recycling facility. With a $48-million investment from the City and a $46-million investment from Sims, the new facility, designed by Selldorf Architects, will create approximately 100 permanent jobs. The facility will be built embracing sustainable design elements, including green roofs, renewable energy generation, on-site storm water treatment, among others. In July 2010, the recycling facility won an Award for Excellence in Design from the Public Design Commission. Construction commenced in October 2010 and will be completed by December 2012. Operations are expected to commence in 2013.
The Sims Municipal Recycling Facility is a joint project of the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Small Business Services, NYCEDC, and Sims Metal Management.