'The Gates' heads for the Recycling Bin

Workers will begin taking down 'The Gates' today. The massive work of public art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude isn't headed for a museum or a private collection. Its pieces will be recycled.

The fabric, steel and vinyl used to to build 'The Gates' cost more than $20 million dollars but starting today, the work will begin to disappear.

As with past projects, Christo and Jeanne-Claude say their creation will be broken down, chopped up and turned into a variety of materials for industrial applications. The aluminum and steel from the gates will be turned into gutters, sheeting, re-bar and coil. The vinyl used in the project will be ground down and may return inside paint rollers, tool handles and PVC pipe.

And the more than one million square feet of orange nylon fabric used for the work will be turned back into thread, where it can be used for an almost limitless number of products. The pieces must all be out of the park by March 15th but the city is left with more than the fading feelings from the massive work.

The economic development office estimates the gates brought more than $80 million dollars to New York. For WNYC, I'm Collin Campbell.