The Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility is a processing center for New York City’s curbside glass, metal, and plastic recyclables which is being undertaken by Sims Municipal Recycling and the City of New York. Selldorf designed the 11 acre master plan which devotes 20% of the site to greenspace and creates distinct circulation systems to safely separate visitors from the truck delivery route. The 140,000 sf facility includes a Tipping Building, where recyclables arrive by barge; Processing Building; Bale Storage Building; and Visitor Center and Administration Building, where students and the public can both view and learn more about recycling. The facility will make a major environmental contribution to New York City by allowing recyclables to be delivered by barge—a strategy which minimizes the distance collection trucks must travel and eliminates 240,000 miles of annual vehicle travel from City roadways. Recycled materials are used throughout: site fill is made from a composite of recycled glass, asphalt, and rock reclaimed from the Second Avenue subway construction; metal buildings are 98% recycled steel; and visitor plazas are finished with recycled glass. Other sustainable strategies being implemented include one of the largest application of photovoltaics in New York City, a forthcoming wind turbine which will generate 10% of the facility’s power, and bioswales for stormwater management.
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