Bronx Metal Recycling Facility Storm Water Retrofit
The SIMS Metal Management recycling facility in Bronx, N.Y., deals with thousands of tons of metal each week. Scraps are brought in by the truckload, then transported to various process sites by barge; from there, they travel to manufacturing facilities worldwide to be repurposed.
With a facility of this nature adjacent to a river, contaminated runoff discharge was a regular occurrence. This earned the site a place in a citywide solid waste management plan in an effort to improve the efficiency of the truck-to-barge transfer process. The city planned to do some additional paving to eliminate puddles, ponding and flooding, and SIMS made it a priority to keep contaminated runoff out of the city’s combined sewer system.
In the history of the city and state, no project had worked to incorporate all runoff from a 10-year-plus storm into an integrated system. To make sure the momentous undertaking went smoothly, SIMS called in The Gaia Institute—a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that specializes in ecological engineering and community integration—to manage the project and design the recycling facility’s new storm water system.
The integrated system The Gaia Institute helped create was a massive undertaking that features infiltration galleries, wet and dry meadows, an evaporative wall governed by solar-powered pumps, a manmade wetland, and a 1-million-gal below-grade aquifer constructed of high-porosity structural soil and a series of plastic StormChambers supplied by Kintz Plastics.