SIMS Municipal Recycling CenterOn

Sabin Visan

ECON 2505


Sunset Park Recycling Center

On a rainy Wednesday back in October we took a class field trip that would change my outlook on the world around me. Before coming to the plant I was aware of there being recycling as I always make sure I separate everything, but i did not know the process of recycling. The newly built SIMS Municipal Recycling Center is located in Sunset Park right on the riverfront, which is great as most of the waste arrives on barges to save both money and the environment by using less polluting trucks.  However, not all of New York City’s recycle comes in on the barges, Brooklyn’s recycle still comes in by trucks, which is very inefficient way to transport. When the garbage arrives  the barges are placed inside a large covered dock which has a giant opening to the building where the unprocessed recycle is held. Inside the building there’s a giant crane which unloads the barges. Then a bulldozer pushes the waste onto conveyor belts to start the process. The recycling center can handle up to 1000 tonnes of recycle a day. Once the waste is on the conveyor, it goes through different machines that cut open the bags, attract metals and other processes to sort the materials. Then the sorted materials gets compressed into cubes and are ready to ship out to buyers around the world. However, not all the garbage gets recycled the plastic bags that waste comes in with, cannot be recycled therefore its collected and sent to the local dump. This facility is an enormous help to the environment as it helps lessen our environmental footprint on the world. Even though it was rainy the trip was very eye opening, as the class discovered the inner working of the facility.


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