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Colorado department launches third year of NextCycle program

The NextCycle Colorado Program promotes innovative end markets for recycled or recovered material.

November 17, 2021

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has launched the third year of NextCycle Colorado, a program designed to boost remanufacturing solutions for recycled or recovered content in Colorado.

CDPHE is now accepting applications from teams interested in joining NextCycle. Businesses accepted into the program are provided individualized technical support and mentorship by Resource Recycling Systems, Ann Arbor, Michigan, to refine ideas and develop investable and shovel-ready business plans. Teams that advance through NextCycle are eligible to apply for CDPHE grant funding.

Remanufacturing involves transforming a used commodity into a new or better condition to extend the life of the material. The CDPHE says it is committed to supporting businesses that develop innovative end markets for recycled materials, which will help the state achieve a 45 percent statewide landfill diversion rate in the next 15 years.

During the first two years of NextCycle Colorado, CDPHE says it recruited and supported 15 teams, all with the potential to bolster Colorado’s recycling end markets. Of those teams, five were awarded grants by the Recycling Resource Economic Opportunity program to grow their businesses. Some of the previously successful NextCycle Colorado teams include:

  • Vartega, a plastic composite recycling startup in Golden, Colorado. Vartega has developed a process to recycle carbon fiber. Through NextCycle, the company was able to explore the regional supply chain for composite plastics and secure investment to fuel the growth of the business.
  • Table to Farm Compost, Durango, Colorado, started in the NextCycle Colorado program as an early-stage collaborative team interested in food waste and organics recovery in the southwest corner of the state. The team received technical composting assistance and fostered partnerships needed to start the region’s first successful composting collection and processing program.
  • Timber Age Systems Inc., Durango, was the winner of the 2020 Pitch Session. The startup developed a way to use local timber in southwest Colorado to produce cross-laminated timber, a sustainable building material. Through the program, the company was able to advance its business model and CDPHE subsequently awarded them more than $430,000 to fund the creation of an expanded, long-term manufacturing facility.

“Thank you, NextCycle Colorado, for taking the time to encourage us,” says Andy Hawk, co-founder of Timber Age Systems. “We look back on our NextCycle time as extremely important in the maturation and focus of the company. We made contacts and received encouragement we couldn’t dream of in other incubators/accelerators.’’

For more information about the program and application, please visit the department’s website or email nextcycle@recycle.com.