The Post-Flood Scene Along the Buffalo Bayou Hike and Bike Trail near Tony Marron Park

Sims Metal Management Proler Southwest Scrap Recycling Facility, 90 Hirsch Rd, Galena Park, Houston, 77052

Bryan Parras snagged some after-shots of Buffalo Bayou’s up-and-down number near Tony Marron Park just east of Hirsch Rd. this week, as the rain let up on Monday afternoon and again yesterday morning. Across the channel on the north bank is the Sims Metal Management’s Proler Southwest recycling facility, whose scrap piles shown above were still soaking their toes beneath the freshly-elevated water line at the time of the Monday photos.

Below is a view of both the park’s trails and the Sims facility, looking east from the Hirsch bridge across the bayou’s confluence with somewhat-redecorated Japhet Creek from the north:



The bulkhead marking the edge of the facility was entirely submerged, as was some of the scrap stockpile:


Here’s the view from yesterday morning, after the water had dropped back a bit:

Sims Metal Management Proler Southwest Scrap Recycling Facility, 90 Hirsch Rd, Galena Park, Houston, 77052

Photos: Bryan Parras/T.E.J.A.S.

Piled High in Fifth Ward

9 Comment

  • This is horrible. I hope these guys get fined badly. This is the type of picture people think of when they envision Houston bayous. Time for that facility to shut down.

  • You do realize that shutting down that facility means millions of pounds of reusable material going NOT into a landfill, but to just another scrap yard that operates just the same way. Scrap metal is BIG business. Especially in Houston where prices are higher than anywhere else in the Texas market. Houston is also one of the most regulated scrap metal industries in the U.S. Not only do you have to submit daily reports to the state including everything down to the thumbprint of every seller, you also have to submit that to HPD. That’s even if you get through the arduous task of being allowed to own and operate a scrap yard in Houston. Those photos are from the south yard at Sims which is all ferrous metal that gets loaded onto barges at that location and shipped primarily to Turkey. Ferrous metals out of Houston primarily sell in China or India direct with Alcoa consuming a majority of all can biscuits. The facility is placed there for good reason. Take a trip down the bayou on a kayak and you’ll see a lot more shit than that on a good day……

  • With the invasive Chinese Tallow Tree in the foreground one might guess this photo was taken in a third world country in South East Asia

  • This is just east of Hirsch road in the main artery of Buffalo bayou, 2 miles from downtown. There is a need for facilities like this but they should also be designed above the 500 year flood plane. This is a sign of poor management and a company that hasn’t updated their facility to keep the area environmentally safe for the surrounding neighborhood. Poor or not, residents shouldn’t be subjected to the health hazards of a poorly managed facility.

  • Why do you put all that stuff by the bayou where it can drop in? There’s needs to be a regulation against that.

  • In response to Toby, I just was listening to a news article that was discussion how recycling has not generated any true income for several years. Much of the money earned is coming back in the form of subsidies. Not sure how much of this related to metal found in that heap but aluminum, glass and plastic cost more to process and ship for recycling than can be made financially. I hope some attempt is made at trying to recover any materials that made their way into the bayou.

  • Toby: Why all the tumb prints and reporting to HPD if you want to operating a scrap yard?

  • Cody; Ever had the copper wires stolen from your AC unit?

  • @Cody, the thumb prints and photos are required to help find thieves who steal metal and then sell to recyclers. Like Montrose1100 said, it’s to help discourage the guys who steal your electrical wiring and air conditioners. Or, the ones that sweep through a cemetery stealing all the vases.

    @C, Proler loads barges there. It’s hard to load a barge with stuff that’s not right next to the water.

    @rgrhourgr, the lack of profit in recycling applies to the City of Houston recycling program. Firms like Proler make a lot of money gathering scrap and selling it to mills for conversion to raw steel.

    I think there’s little risk of contamination from the metal there, other than rust.