One (Wo)Man’s Trash…

Do you ever wonder where your garbage goes once you toss it to the curb? Do you have your doubts that the plastic coffee cup and junk mail you threw in the same bin actually get separated like they say? Believe it or not – the city does a remarkable job at doing just that!

This past Saturday, I spent the day volunteering at the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, as part of the 15th Annual Open House New York Weekend.

The facility processes 100% of the metal, glass, and plastic and approximately 50% of the paper collected in the NYC curbside program. So, there’s a good chance your own garbage has been processed here!


Tipping Building | Inbound materials arrive here by barge and DSNY collection trucks.


Processing and Bale Storage Buildings | Materials are separated using a series of conveyors. Each machine is designed with a duplicate to assure consistent processing in the event that one needs servicing.


Pedestrian Bridge | The bridge connects the main building to the viewing platform inside the Processing Facility. This is where I was stationed to direct visitors coming from the Education Center in the main building.


Pedestrian Bridge | The fantastic view made up for the smell of garbage!


by Eri Semerzakis