Image via Recycling Today
New York City broke ground this week on a new recycling facility that will minimize the distance between pickup and drop-off sites, and with it the amount of trucking—by more than 260,000 miles a year.
It will help the city improve air quality and reduce its carbon footprint, two goals set out by PlaNYC, the city's long-term sustainability plan.
The new facility—a material recovery facility, or MRF—will occupy 100,000 square feet of Sunset Park's 30th Street Pier and will process all of the city's metal, glass and plastic recyclables. It will receive collections from Brooklyn by 100 or fewer trucks per day, and the rest from the Bronx and Queens by barge.
Robert Kelman, president of commercial development for Sims Metal Management North America, said, "Between the city and our investments, we will be putting approximately $80 million 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."
No word on if nearby communities had any objections to placement of the facility, but the director of the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park did say, "the Sims recycling facility represents a significant step on the road to a more environmentally-just Solid Waste Management Plan." With fewer trucks, it won't bring the same health problems that other industrial areas often have, and hopefully the world's "best technologies" means the cleanest and most efficient. A visitor education center at the site will also help students learn about recycling.
The facility is expected to open in December 2011, and to generate 100 new jobs.
The city's press release adds that the facility is part of the Sunset Park Waterfront Vision Plan, which will see more than $165 million of city funds invested in developing over 3.5 million square feet of waterfront industrial space and improving pedestrian access to the waterfront with 22 acres of new open space. Truck traffic is also expected to be reduced in the region by 70,000 trips annually, and the plan overall is expected to add 11,000 jobs over 10 years.