Proposed Recology Project

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Project Description

The Proposed Recology Project includes construction and operation of new, modern resource recovery facilities within an expanded footprint at Recology’s existing Tunnel Avenue Facility. 

Major components would include:

  • Recycling Facilities (Blue Can)
  • Mixed Solid Waste Recycling and Processing Facilities (Black Can) 
  • Organics Transfer Station  (Green Can)
  • Anaerobic Digestion (Energy Generation)
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collection
  • Vehicle Maintenance Facilities
  • Cart/Container Maintenance Facilities
  • Visitor Facilities
  • Administrative Offices
  • Support Facilities (scales, truck fueling, vehicle parking, etc.)  

The Proposed Project would be constructed in two phases as described below. The proposed phasing is intended to allow the Tunnel Avenue Facility site to remain operational throughout the modernization and expansion process, and to enable the Facility to be modernized and expanded in a timely manner to achieve the 2020 zero waste mandate referenced previously. 

The initial phase of development would occur within the boundaries of properties currently owned by Recology, while final phase will require the expansion of the Recology Tunnel Avenue site by approximately 21 acres to the south (Figure 2). The decommissioning of Recology’s Pier 96 Facility will occur in the initial phase of the Project, while consolidation of the activities of 7th Street Facility to the Tunnel Avenue site will occur in the final phase.

Initial Phase of Modernization and Expansion

Phase One of modernization efforts would increase the amount of building area at Recology’s Tunnel Avenue site from approximately 260,000 square feet to approximately 675,000 square feet. Improvements will also include providing structured parking. Development in Phase One would occur within the existing Tunnel Avenue site, and adjacent property under current Recology ownership (Figure 3). 

In Phase One of modernization and expansion, a new operations building comprised of approximately 400,000 square feet would be constructed and used for mixed solid waste, paper, and container recycling. In addition, a new 70,000 square foot maintenance building to support fleet maintenance operations would be constructed. Adaptive management of the existing mixed solid waste transfer station would accommodate new uses as an organics and green waste transfer station. Phase One of development includes:

  • New operations building for processing mixed solid waste and paper and container recycling;
  • New anaerobic digestion, gas storage and gas cleaning facilities;
  • New maintenance/support building for collection truck maintenance operations, offices and related functions;
  • Adaptive reuse of existing mixed solid waste transfer station for new use as organic green waste transfer facility;
  • Soil stabilization, remediation and partial landfill closure as required to prepare site for new construction;
  • Replacement of utilities infrastructure and installation of new utilities including lighting and security fencing;
  • New parking areas including structured parking for collection trucks and working fleet vehicles;
  • Landscaping and Storm Water Best Management Practices (BMP) installations;
  • Upgrades to existing buildings to remain on site;
  • Other facility upgrades or replacement, including scales, scale-houses, truck fueling stations, roads, vehicle parking lots;
  • Adaptive reuse of existing site building for new use as a container maintenance facility;
  • Artist in Residence program areas;
  • Demolition of some existing site buildings to make room for new construction, infrastructure, parking and storage; and
  • Decommissioning of Recology’s existing Pier 96 Facility and consolidation of resource recovery operations to the Tunnel Avenue Facility.

Final Phase of Modernization and Expansion

Phase Two of the development will occur within an expanded footprint of the Tunnel Avenue Facility (Figure 4). Additional development area would include a new visitor’s center and auditorium space occupying approximately 26,000 square feet. A new 20,000 square foot administrative office building would be constructed and the uses of the 7th Street Facility would be accommodated at the Tunnel Avenue Facility site. A 75,000 square foot new car parking structure would also be constructed.

Phase Two of the development includes:

  • New visitor center and auditorium
  • Additional car parking structure
  • Redefinition of property boundaries, zoning boundaries, roadway alignments and utility easements in Phase Two of build-out
  • New administrative offices
  • Soil stabilization, remediation and partial landfill closure as required to prepare site for new construction
  • Landscape improvements, lighting, and security
  • Water quality BMPs
  • Demolition of some existing site buildings to make room for new parking and storage areas
  • Consolidation of 7th Street Facility uses at the Tunnel Avenue site

Required Discretionary Approval and Actions

The following is a list of discretionary approvals and actions required prior to site development. Discretionary actions are those taken by an agency when, for instance, issuing a permit or an approval that allows project construction. The list below includes the initial discretionary approvals the project will be required to obtain. It is representative but not exhaustive and may be increased or amended at any time during development of the project’s two phases until final build-out occurs. 

City of Brisbane

  • Text and map amendments to the General Plan, for the ultimate project limits as shown in Figure 2.
  • Rezoning of the project site and text and map amendments to the Zoning Ordinance for the ultimate project limits as shown in Figure 2 (Brisbane Municipal Code Title 17). 
  • Recology Modernization and Expansion Specific Plan describing the proposed modernization and expansion of the existing Recology facilities in two phases. The Specific Plan will address the entire Recology Tunnel Avenue Facility site as it is proposed to be expanded. However, the Specific Plan, once adopted by the City of Brisbane, will only have regulatory authority within Brisbane.
  • Site development plans and permits (future)

San Francisco County Health Department (Local Enforcement Agency)

  • Solid Waste Facility Permit modification (future)[1]

City and County of San Francisco

  • Site development permit(s)

San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board and San Mateo County Health Services, Environmental Health Division (Local Enforcement Agency) 

  • Title 27 Landfill closure (future)[1]

Format of the EIR

The EIR will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the CEQA Guidelines. The EIR will examine the physical environmental effects that would result from implementation of the Proposed Project, including the initial and final phases of development at the Tunnel Avenue Facility site, decommissioning of Recology’s Pier 96, and the realignment of uses at the 7th Street site as described above.

Because an Initial Study was not prepared for the Recology Modernization and Expansion Project, the EIR will examine potential impacts for each of the issues included in the CEQA Guidelines Appendix G checklist:

Aesthetics                                       Geology/Soils                                     Noise

Agricultural/Forest Resources      Greenhouse Gas Emissions              Population and Housing

Air Quality                                        Hazards/Hazardous Materials            Public Services

Biological Resources                      Hydrology/Water Quality                    Recreation

Cultural Resources                         Land Use/Planning                             Transportations/Traffic

Energy                                             Mineral Resources                              Utilities/Services

The forthcoming Draft EIR will be organized to include the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Summary
  • Project Description
  • Environmental Setting, Impacts, and Mitigation Measures
  • Alternatives
  • Significant Unavoidable Impacts, Growth Inducing Impacts, Cumulative Impacts
  • Report Preparers

There is no set date for the Draft EIR at this time.  Please check back or sign up for future email updates.


[1] Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding between the San Francisco and San Mateo County health agencies, San Francisco retained authority for issuance of the Solid Waste Facility Permits for the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center, while San Mateo County retained authority for issuance of permits for the Brisbane Landfill.