Giant trash fire at Sunset Park recycling plant on Earth Day

recycling fire
A fire at the Sims Municipal Recycling Plant in Sunset Park on Earth Day, April 22, 2022, as seen from the Metropolitan Detention Center.

A heaping pile of trash caught aflame at a Sunset Park recycling plant and sent a giant cloud of smoke billowing over Kings County as New York awoke for Earth Day 2022 on Friday.

Firefighters responded to a call just after 7 am of a massive scrap fire at the Sims Municipal Recycling facility at 472 Second Ave., within the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. Dozens of smoke-eaters arrived on-site soon after the inferno commenced and a large cloud of black smoke rose hundreds of feet in the air.

An FDNY spokesperson said that the fire was under control a little after 9:15 am. There are no reported injuries. The Fire Department says that as of now, there’s no cause to suspect any environmental concerns will arise from the fire or the smoke fumes.

Sims, which operates three recycling facilities in the five boroughs and two in New Jersey, processes 100 percent of the recycled metal, glass, and plastic and 50 percent of the paper collected by the Sanitation Department throughout the city, according to its website.

The Sunset Park depot is the company’s newest facility, having opened back in 2013. The waste hub, designed by renowned architect Annabelle Selldorf and described by the company as “the largest and most sophisticated plant for commingled residential recyclables in North America,” was designed with sustainability in mind, utilizing wind and solar power for its operations, treating stormwater on-site, and taking advantage of a location on both the waterfront and railway to eliminate a touted 240,000 miles of trips that DSNY trucks would have otherwise made.

The facility also hosts tour groups, mostly consisting of school field trips; more than 8,000 visitors come through each year to witness the trashly magic in action, the company says.

Sims did not respond to multiple requests for comment by press time.