A Greener NYC — Investing in Sims Municipal Recycling to Power a More Circular Economy
Sustainability and climate resilience are top priorities in New York. Initiatives from New York City and state set forth ambitious goals for a lighter environmental footprint, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a zero-waste future. In alignment with these goals, the Partnership Fund for New York City invested in Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR), a Brooklyn-based recycling processor that is helping lead New York towards a greener, more circular economy.
Closed Loop Partners and a group of investors, including the Partnership Fund, acquired a majority stake in SMR, which operates the largest commingled recycling facility in North America in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
The Case for Circularity
A circular approach to recycling and manufacturing improves not only waste prevention, but also the sourcing, management and recovery of raw materials. According to a report by the New York State Climate Action Council, more greenhouse gas emissions come from producing new goods than their ultimate disposal. By expanding recycling services that keep recycled raw materials in circulation, New York can lighten its environmental footprint and create pathways to well-paying jobs. Our investment in SMR maximizes that opportunity.
Since 2013, SMR has been operating under a 20-year contract with the NYC Department of Sanitation — the largest municipal recycling contract in North America — to process the city’s residential recyclables. Each year, SMR processes and markets over 600,000 tons of recycled plastic, glass, metal and paper, including over 400,000 tons in New York City. By selling the materials to third-party manufacturers, SMR supports sustainable manufacturing supply chains for new goods and bolsters a burgeoning green economy.
The labor market also gets a boost. After opening its Sunset Park facility, SMR created dozens of local industrial jobs, which are often in short supply in New York City. With this new funding, the company plans to modernize recycling infrastructure further and expand to new markets with the potential to generate additional jobs as it grows.
As New York City continues its commitments to zero-waste, strategic investments in innovative recycling infrastructure will be crucial to its success. The Partnership Fund is proud to support the team at SMR and its vision to build best-in-class recycling capabilities in New York and beyond for a more inclusive circular economy.