The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is introducing Colorado NextCycle, a program that provides funding, expertise, and economic data to Colorado businesses, communities, universities, and startups interested in turning recovered materials into marketable products.
In August 2017, the department adopted statewide waste diversion goals aimed at doubling the state’s current recycling rate to 45 percent by 2036. However, the state’s geography and changes in international end markets pose significant challenges to meeting that goal through existing programs and efforts.
The Colorado NextCycle program will provide modest grants to selected teams to incubate their business ideas while receiving technical support, mentoring, and industry and economic data. The goal is to nurture viable ideas to fundable, shovel-ready status for submission to the 2019 department grant cycle. Business concepts may be focused on developing end markets for any recovered commodity or organic material, including secondary processing of recovered materials.
A technical advisory committee, including subject matter experts covering material processing, infrastructure, manufacturing, finance, risk assessment, partnerships and market development, will provide input and guidance to help teams create successful business plans. The department has contracted with RRS to support the development of the Colorado NextCycle program and assess potential project teams.