The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has chosen nine teams for the Colorado NextCycle program. During the open application period late last year, teams from around North America pitched recycled material end market business ideas for the Colorado marketplace.
The nine teams selected for the first-of-its-kind pilot program will each 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 support will help the chosen teams further refine their recovered/recycled material end market business ideas. They will pitch their ideas at the state’s largest recycling conference in June 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.
"I am so excited to see companies develop bold and innovative ways to reduce waste," said the department's Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan in a statement. "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:
Headquarters: Silver Spring, Md.
End market Business Proposal: Engineer and build a processing plant in Pueblo, Colo., for transforming hemp and cannabis waste stalk and stems into fiber for use in textile, absorbent, industrial, bioplastic, semi-conductor, carbon-fiber, construction, fuel and automotive applications.
2. Direct Polymers
End market Business Proposal: 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.
Headquarters: Netherlands/Chelsea, Vt.
End market Business Proposal: Identify a second North American site to manufacture ekomats, a multipurpose mat made of recycled No. 4 LDPE plastic film waste used in construction, residential, industrial and various service industries.
4. Natural Buildings Innovation
Headquarters: Gunnison, Colo.
End market Business Proposal: 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.
Headquarters: Salt Lake City
End market Business Proposal: Feasibility study for a new facility in Colorado for converting plastic waste from materials recovery facilities and municipal drop-off locations into fuel products and feedstocks.
Headquarters: To be determined
End-market Business Proposal: Site facility in Colorado for refurbishing end-of-life solar panels for resale to nonprofits, indigenous tribes and companies that build off-grid systems and do-it-yourselfers.
7. San Juan Organics
Headquarters: Durango, Colo.
End-market Business Proposal: Research to develop business and site plan for an aggregation and processing facility to create local organic compost and soil amendments from organic scrap.
8. Spring Back Colorado
Headquarters: Commerce City, Colo.
End-market Business Proposal: Feasibility of operating a steel shredding machine in 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.
Headquarters: Golden, Colo.
End-market Business Proposal: 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.