Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
A new recycling facility is expected to help revive Brooklyn's industrial waterfront.
Officials broke ground Monday at the 30th Street Pier in Sunset Park. The new Sims Municipal Recycling Facility will process most of the city's recycled metal, plastic and glass.
Sims Metal Management plans to invest $44 million to develop the site, which will include storage and processing facilities along with a visitor education center where students will be able to learn about recycling.
The city selected the company to be its long-term recycling partner in 2004.
The city is also investing $80 million in infrastructure upgrades to support the Sims facility and an adjacent auto processing and cargo handling facility for the Axis Group, currently under construction.
City officials say the new recycling facility will reduce the distance that collection trucks travel by more than 260,000 road miles each year by allowing recyclables to be delivered by barge.
They also cite the potential for generating green jobs.
"This is a major step in saying we will have an industrial waterfront," said Congressman Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes the site. "We will have jobs in this city for people without college diplomas, blue collar jobs. We will not give up on them."
The center is expected to generate 100 new jobs and to open in December 2011.