Nine Teams Chosen for Colorado's NextCycle Program

Each of the nine teams selected for the first-of-its-kind pilot program will receive a $5,000 business development grant, mentoring from the Colorado NextCycle technical advisory committee, and technical support from RRS, the recycling and sustainability consulting firm assisting with the Colorado NextCycle program.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has chosen nine teams for Colorado's NextCycle program, announcing the selections on Feb. 12. Teams had pitched recycled material end-market business ideas for the Colorado marketplace during an open application period last year.

Each of the nine teams selected for the first-of-its-kind pilot program will receive a $5,000 business development grant, mentoring from the Colorado NextCycle technical advisory committee, and technical support from RRS, the recycling and sustainability consulting firm assisting with the Colorado NextCycle program. They will pitch their ideas at the state's largest recycling conference June 9-11, 2019, in Pueblo and will have the ability to submit their business ideas for the 2019 department grant cycle for funding to implement their business proposals in Colorado.

The department's NextCycle website explains why the program is needed: Newly adopted statewide waste diversion goals aim to more than double the state's current recycling rate to 45 percent by 2036. Because Colorado's geography and changes in international end markets pose significant challenges to meet that goal, Colorado needs strong regional infrastructure and robust end markets to form a more sustainable domestic recycling economy in the region.

"I am so excited to see companies develop bold and innovative ways to reduce waste," said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan. "Colorado NextCycle provides the technical and financial support needed to turn great ideas into reality, and that's a win for all of us."

The nine teams are:

  • 9Fiber, headquartered in Silver Spring, Md. Its end-market business proposal is to engineer and build a processing plant in Pueblo for transforming hemp and cannabis waste stalk and stems into fiber for use in textile, absorbent, industrial, bioplastic, semiconductor, carbon-fiber, construction, fuel, and automotive applications.
  • Direct Polymers, headquartered in Denver. Its proposal is to add the ability to wash, blend, and pelletize difficult-to-recycle plastic streams containing labels, liquids, dirt, and other contaminates at an existing Commerce City facility.
  • Ekomats, headquartered in the Netherlands and Chelsea, Vermont. Its proposal is to identify a second North American site to manufacture ekomats, a multipurpose mat made of recycled #4 LDPE plastic film waste used in construction, residential, industrial, and various service industries.
  • Natural Buildings Innovation, headquartered in Gunnison, Colo. Its proposal is to research and marketing to scale existing operations receiving, retrieving, and processing standing dead trees into custom wood products and building materials for the local economy.
  • Renewlogy, headquartered in Salt Lake City. Its proposal is to do a feasibility study for a new facility in Colorado for converting plastic waste from material recovery facilities and municipal drop-off locations into fuel products and feedstocks.
  • Resolar, with headquarters to be determined. It proposes a facility in Colorado for refurbishing end-of-life solar panels for resale to nonprofits, indigenous tribes, companies that build off-grid systems, and do-it-yourselfers.
  • San Juan Organics, headquartered in Durango, Colo. Its proposal is to do research to develop a business and site plan for an aggregation and processing facility to create local organic compost and soil amendments from organic scrap.
  • Spring Back Colorado, headquartered in Commerce City, Colo. Its proposal is to operate a steel shredding machine in an existing Commerce City location to allow for in-house shredding of steel mattress coils into acceptable end-market form and potential for receiving and processing coils from other mattress recyclers.
  • Vartega, headquartered in Golden, Colo. Its proposal is to identify thermoplastic and carbon fiber waste streams for reforming/repurposing material into an engineered composite manufacturing feedstock for use in the automotive, sporting goods, and 3D printing industries.

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