Teams selected for Colorado NextCycle Program

Teams selected for Colorado NextCycle Program

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment program to fund end-market development.

February 15, 2019

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has selected nine teams for the Colorado NextCycle program, which provides funding, expertise and economic data to businesses, communities, universities and startups interested in turning recovered materials into marketable products.

During the open application period late last year, teams from around North America pitched recycled material end-market business ideas for the Colorado marketplace. CDPHE introduced the program in October to overcome challenges in meeting statewide waste diversion goals, which would double the state’s recycling rate to 45 percent by 2036.

The nine teams selected for the 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.

CDPHE says the support will help the teams further refine their recycled material end market business ideas. Teams will pitch their ideas at the state’s recycling conference in June for a chance to receive funding to implement their business proposals in Colorado.

"I am so excited to see companies develop bold and innovative ways to reduce waste," says Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director at the department. "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 include:


  • Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland
  • End-market business proposal: Engineer and build a processing plant in Pueblo, Colorado, 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.

Direct Polymers

  • Headquarters: Denver
  • 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, Vermont
  • End-market business proposal: Identify 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.

Natural Buildings Innovation

  • Headquarters: Gunnison, Colorado
  • 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 new facility in Colorado for converting plastic waste from material 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, companies that build off-grid systems and do-it-yourselfers.

San Juan Organics

  • Headquarters: Durango, Colorado
  • 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.

Spring Back Colorado

  • Headquarters: Commerce City, Colorado
  • 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, Colorado
  • 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.