CDPHE launches applications for fifth year of NextCycle Colorado program focused on recycling, composting, and reuse

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(DENVER) Nov. 1, 2023 — CDPHE is pleased to announce the launch of the fifth year of NextCycle Colorado, a program designed to boost businesses with innovative solutions for repurposing recyclable materials.  NextCycle Colorado provides an accelerator program for businesses and entrepreneurs hoping to grow their recycling businesses and operations while promoting sustainable and resilient economic growth. Selected teams will receive no-cost consulting support, participate in a boot camp, and present to funders at a pitch competition for the opportunity to win a cash prize. 

"We're thrilled to unveil the upcoming NextCycle Colorado opportunity, a critical component of our mission to accomplish the state’s waste diversion goals,” said Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt, CDPHE Program Manager. “This business accelerator program represents a dynamic solution to ignite growth in recycling, organics recovery, and reuse markets. I am confident we will recruit yet another inspiring cohort of teams."

NextCycle Colorado helps participating teams develop new or improved recycling, composting, and reuse end markets. Having local markets for these commodities allows the materials Coloradans recycle and compost to transition into quality, new products. This results in positive environmental, economic, and social benefits for all Colorado residents and businesses. The accelerator’s program will run from January through May 2024 and will help the teams develop business plans, create partnerships across the state, understand industry and economic data, identify sources of product, secure funding, and work toward shovel-ready projects. 

In the first four years of the program, 34 teams have participated in the 6-month long business accelerator program. CDPHE provided nearly $3 million in grant funding to over a third of the teams. Additionally, many of the teams that have progressed through NextCycle Colorado have gone on to secure additional investments totaling more than $70 million. Business ventures have ranged from hyper-local composting initiatives to innovations in advanced recycling processes for textiles and carbon fiber. 

Businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, Tribal entities, public agencies, and non-profits with investable project ideas may apply. Out-of-state organizations can also apply. However, the proposed project must occur in Colorado. All projects must directly advance the development or improvement of recycling or composting end markets in Colorado. 

"At Trash Panda, our partnership with NextCycle Colorado has been pivotal in our journey to success,” said Jesse, Founder of Trash Panda Disc Golf. “This program unlocked exciting opportunities and invaluable benefits during our early years, which helped us accomplish our mission of growing the sport of disc golf sustainably by manufacturing discs out of 100% recycled plastic. We deeply appreciate our experience with NextCycle and are excited to invest in future teams through participation on the Technical Advisory Committee." 

Applications for the six-month-long program will close on December 1. CDPHE’s Resource Recycling Economic Opportunity grant program provides funding to NextCycle to support its mission and Resource Recycling Systems, a sustainability and recycling consulting firm, facilitates the program.

To sign up for an informational session, learn more about the program, or apply, subscribe to the NextCycle Colorado newsletter at or email