Press Releases

Mayor Bloomberg Breaks Ground on New Municipal Recyling Facility in Sunset Park

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today broke ground on a new Sims Municipal Recycling Facility that will serve as the principal processing facility for all of the City’s metal, glass, and plastic recyclables. The recycling facility is part of the City’s landmark 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, and create 100 new jobs when the facility is opened, which is expected in December 2011. At the ground breaking the Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Lewis A. Fidler, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty, Sustainability Director David Bragdon, Sims Metal Management – North America President of Commercial & Business Development Robert Kelman, and United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE) Executive Director Elizabeth C. Yeampierre.

“This recycling facility will reduce the distance that our collection trucks currently travel by more than 260,000 road miles each year by allowing recyclables to be delivered by barge,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This will help advance two of the biggest goals of PlaNYC: cleaning the air we breathe and shrinking our city’s carbon footprint. The Sims recycling facility will also help us revive Brooklyn’s working waterfront.”

“Through the Solid Waste Management Plan, we have found creative ways to reduce truck traffic, clean the air and make sure that no one community is unfairly burdened with the waste of another,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith. “The City’s partnership with Sims to build a new recycling facility in New York City demonstrates our commitment to environmentally and economically sustainable solid waste management practices, which we will seek to build on in our upcoming PlaNYC update.”

“We’re looking to help New York City’s waterfront become more vibrant, active and open for New Yorkers, and Sunset Park represents one of our best opportunities to do that,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “Through our Sunset Park Waterfront Vision Plan, we’re investing more than $165 million to reactivate the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, including this new recycling facility, build infrastructure to unlock new industrial space and improve pedestrian access to the waterfront, all while helping to create thousands of jobs.”

“Sims’ new recycling facility in Sunset Park will be a marked improvement in the efficiency of our city's waste management system,” said Congressman Nadler. “Sims’ investment in Sunset Park's waterfront, coupled with government support, will help ensure that this precious piece of Brooklyn infrastructure will continue to be dedicated to maritime uses for years to come.”

“Today’s ground breaking of the Sims Municipal Recycling facility is a big step towards strengthening Brooklyn’s working waterfront” said Congresswoman Velazquez. “The new center will not only serve as a resource for the community, it will decrease truck traffic, promote energy efficiency, reduce pollution by utilizing a network of marine and rail transfer stations, and it will bring jobs to Sunset Park. It’s a win, win.”

“This state-of-the-art facility is another great example of repurposing our Brooklyn waterfront. And we're not just talking trash here - this facility will promote recycling, take garbage-hauling trucks off our already overburdened streets and highways, and create jobs as well,” said Borough President Markowitz. “It's a win-win for everybody, and proves yet again why, when it comes to recycling, Brooklyn and New York City make everyone else 'green' with envy.”

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. 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, designed by Selldorf Architects, will incorporate sustainable elements including green roofs and renewable energy production, on-site stormwater treatment, and landscaping that serves to offset heat and provide a pleasing visual aesthetic for the surrounding community. It will operate 24 hours a day, six days a week. 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.

“Investing in the working waterfront is critical to the growth of our City’s economy,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Our efforts alongside those of SIMS and Axis Group to improve and revitalize the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal have allowed the City to remain a national leader in waterfront industrial development. The reactivation of this important maritime asset will significantly expand our maritime infrastructure and create more than 250 jobs along Brooklyn’s waterfront.”

The City’s historic Solid Waste Management Plan, which was adopted by the City Council and approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2006, changes the way the City transports waste. The SWMP will eliminate nearly six million miles of truck trips per year in New York City and ensure that every borough has the capacity to handle its own waste and recyclables. The City selected Sims Metal Management as its long-term recycling partner in 2004.

“The Department of Sanitation is pleased to join with SIMS and EDC as we break ground on a new state of the art facility that furthers the implementation of the Solid Waste Management Plan,” said Sanitation Commissioner Doherty. “The Sims Municipal Recycling Facility hits a home run for all involved. With the building and opening of the Sims Material Recovery Facility and the Department’s long-term public/private partnership with Sims, the City’s Recycling Program will now have a firm foundation in a modern processing infrastructure for the recyclables residents set out for our collection.”

“This facility exemplifies the PlaNYC approach of combining technical innovation with the personal actions of New Yorkers to produce good economic and environmental outcomes,” said Sustainability Director David Bragdon.

“We are excited to break ground on what will be the most advanced municipal recycling in the country,” said Robert Kelman, President of Commercial & Business Development, Sims Metal Management – North America. “Over the past six years, we have had the support and cooperation of numerous individuals, organizations and government entities. Without their contributions we would not be here today. Between the City and our investments, we will be putting approximately $80 million dollars into the 30th Street pier and will utilize the best available technologies from around the world, creating up to 100 new jobs that, with all of our 230 locations around the world, will be good quality jobs that will make an important contribution to the sustainability of our City.”

“The ground-breaking for the Sims recycling facility represents a significant step on the road to a more environmentally-just Solid Waste Management Plan,” said UPROSE Executive Director Elizabeth C. Yeampierre. “NYC’s first recycling processing facility for metal and glass materials will not only generate new jobs for Sunset Park residents, but also decrease truck pollution and vehicles miles traveled within the City. The shift to a water-borne system of movement for these materials will help ease some of the environmental burdens for our sister communities in Williamsburg and the South Bronx saturated by waste transfer stations.”

“This facility will play a key role in helping New York City solve one of its most complex environmental challenges,” said Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “Not only will it lead to less air pollution and less road congestion, there will be less waste going to landfills and taxpayers will save money too. Today’s milestone would not have been possible without Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s commitment to improving New York City’s environment and the creation of a long-term plan for solid waste management.”

“As one of the top green contractors in the country, Skanska is deeply committed to sustainability, both on our job sites and in our offices,” said Richard Kennedy, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Skanska USA Building, the construction manager of the project. “Whether it’s building the new Brooklyn Bridge Park or renovating the Brooklyn Bridge itself, we work hard to keep our construction sites as green as possible. We look forward to working with the City of New York and SIMS Municipal Recycling to help New Yorkers reduce their environmental impact even further.”

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.

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.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


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