Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 244-04
September 14, 2004


20-Year Contract with Hugo Neu Corporation for Processing Recyclables Will Save City Nearly $20 Million Annually and Improve Environment by Relying on Barges for Transportation

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John J. Doherty and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew Alper today announced an agreement with Hugo Neu Corporation (HNC), one of the nation’s largest scrap metal processors, that will secure a long-term, economically viable outlet for New York City’s recyclables and dramatically reduce truck traffic on City streets.  Today’s agreement with HNC calls for the company to build a modern recycling facility with the understanding that the City will commit to deliver all of the metal, glass and plastic, and a portion of the mixed paper that the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) currently collects through its residential curbside recycling program for the next 20 years. Joining the Mayor at the announcement at the pier at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal was Councilmember Michael McMahon, John Neu, Chairman of Hugo Neu Corporation and Mark A. Izeman, Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Three years ago, the City’s recycling program was broken,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Costs were spiraling out of control and while New Yorkers diligently separated their recyclable material, no one wanted it.  We suspended the program so we could create a better, more cost effective and environmentally friendly recycling program.  I am proud to announce that we are entering a new era for recycling in New York City.  This long-term contract allows HNC to make the capital investment necessary to develop better markets for the City’s recyclables materials and we will use our network of waterways to move our recyclables around our city, removing trucks from our roads.”

The construction of the $25 million facility will create 160 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs.  Construction is expected to begin in early 2006 and be completed by late 2007 and will be financed by HNC.  The long-term contract will lower the City’s cost for processing metal, glass and plastic recycling to $48 per ton, $59 less per ton than the $107 that the City was facing before the program was suspended two years ago.  The contract will cost the City approximately $16 million a year, saving nearly $20 million a year over what it would have paid prior to the recycling program’s suspension. A total of 85% of the recyclable materials will be delivered to the facility via barge, and after processing 75% will leave via barge reducing truck traffic on City streets and improving the environment.  By relying on waterborne transport, the facility will reduce truck traffic by 55,000 vehicle miles per year.

“Today marks the full maturing of recycling as a public service in New York City,” said Commissioner Doherty.  “Recycling which began as a sporadic community based grassroots movement in the 1960s and 1970s has matured into a viable City based industry.  Upon the completion of Hugo Neu’s facility the infrastructure necessary for processing the City’s wealth of recyclables will be complete, allowing for the continuous flow of post-consumer recyclables from individual households, to sanitation collection vehicles, to processing at this new facility, and back again as recovered raw materials into
new products.”

“Hugo Neu’s expansion on the south Brooklyn waterfront is a perfect example of how Mayor Bloomberg’s five-borough economic development strategy is working,” said President Alper. “Not only will this agreement bring jobs and investment to Brooklyn, it will also improve the environment, expand the working waterfront and help diversify our economy by expanding New York City’s manufacturing sector.”

“Besides the clear environmental and economic benefits, we believe that this 20-year contract will give us the opportunity to develop new markets for plastic and glass both here in New York City and in locations around the world,” said John Neu. “We look forward to collaborating with the City and a host of environmental organizations on education and other efforts, which will increase the recycling rate, decrease contamination and reduce the waste stream. We believe that this kind of long-term commitment will ensure the economic viability of recycling.” 

“We welcome Hugo Neu Corporation as they become part of the ongoing effort to build and restore economic development in Sunset Park,” said Councilmember Gonzalez.  “This facility will create a sound way to recycle material and foster job opportunity as we take the initial step toward bringing economic growth back to the Sunset Park waterfront.”

“The Mayor deserves credit for forging a long-term deal that marries sound environmental policy with good business sense,” said Mark A. Izeman. “This is the most significant economic reform to New York’s recycling program in nearly a decade, and it will help guarantee that recycling is a money-saver for the City.  This recycling deal is a gigantic step forward by the Mayor in seeking to solve the City’s nettlesome solid waste problems.” 

The new facility will be located on a pier in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and will be part of a larger development launched by the EDC for this waterfront site.  Because HNC will export containerized recycling materials, the new facility will support a stevedoring operation, which is also envisioned for the site.  These activities collectively represent a major development for a working Brooklyn waterfront.


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958


Vito Turso   (DSNY)
(646) 885-5020

Michael Sherman   (EDC)
(212) 312-3804

More Resources
Watch press conference in 56k or 300k