RREO grant projects for fiscal year 2017

We released three Requests for Applications for the FY2017 grant cycle. The first set of projects emphasizes general infrastructure development for all types of waste diversion activities. The second set of projects identifies existing waste diversion activities in a defined study area and examines how to best coordinate those activities to maximize economic efficiencies. The third set of projects incentivizes end-market development for recyclables and organics.



Waste Diversion Infrastructure Development Projects

Blue Star Recyclers (final report)
Project Title: Retrofit and Expansion of the Vocational Electronic Recycling Network (VERN)
Award: $125,020
Geographic area: Boulder and Denver Counties and surrounding areas
Blue Star was founded in 2009 in Colorado Springs and employs individuals with autism and other disabilities. This project serves to retrofit the existing facility in the Denver area by purchasing supplies and equipment that will increase its capacity to process electronics for recycling. Additionally, grant funds will be used to retrofit a satellite collection center in Boulder and to launch an advertising campaign to raise public awareness in Boulder, Chaffee, Denver, Eagle, El Paso, and Fremont Counties.
Denver International Airport (final report)
Project title: Food Donation Program Expansion
Award: $20,313
Geographic area: Denver
Funding will be used to expand a successful pilot program at Denver International Airport (DIA) where excess, but still edible food, is collected from airport concessionaires and redirected to a local food bank for distribution to families in need. Specifically, DIA will purchase refrigeration units for each of the airport’s three concourses, as well as a large walk-in cooler for the main terminal’s loading dock. Once the project is fully implemented, all of the airport’s concessionaires will have the ability to store excess food.
Gunnison County Public Works Department (final report)
Project title: Recycling Center Hub Relocation and Renovation of Existing Hub into an Additional Spoke
Award: $399,382
Geographic area: Gunnison and Hinsdale Counties
Gunnison County Public Works Department will improve the processing and storage capacity of recyclables collected from Gunnison and Hinsdale County residents by relocating the existing recycling facility to a larger parcel of land. The new recycling facility will improve operational efficiencies, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the region’s recycling program. Funds will be used to purchase a new horizontal baler, install two concrete pads, and construct a storage building for baled recyclables.
Hi-Tec Plastics Recycling, Inc. (final report)
Project title: FY2016 Plastic Pelletizer and Pulverizer Project
Award: $120,200
Geographic area: Denver
This project aims to increase the end-market for recyclable plastic resins generated in Colorado. Hi-Tec Plastics will establish a processing line for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic piping. Specifically, funds will be used to purchase the equipment needed to process the PVC plastic piping.
MasterWash, Inc. (final report)
Project title: RREO Fund Grant Program
Award: $158,300
Geographic area: Statewide
Grant funds will be used to purchase a specially designed baler that will process used oil filters, as well as capture and consolidate the used oil extracted from each oil filter. This project serves to recycle used automotive oil filters collected from existing commercial customers and from “do-it-yourself” vehicle owners who change their own oil. Both the used oil filters and the used oil will be recycled.
MDS Waste and Recycle, Inc. (final report)
Project title: SLV Hub-and-Spoke Recycling Project
Award: $167,310
Geographic area: San Luis Valley
To develop a hub-and-spoke recycling network in the San Luis Valley, an existing “hub” facility located in Creede, CO, will be retrofitted to increase its capacity to process recyclables. Additionally, funding will establish six “spokes” throughout the region, creating a network of recycling drop-off centers. The facility will increase the financial viability and long-term sustainability of recycling initiatives in the San Luis Valley.
Quest Services, LLC (final report)
Project title: Northeastern Colorado Hub-and-Spoke and Commercial Recycling
Award: $205,442
Geographic area: Yuma, Washington, and Morgan Counties
This project serves to improve the processing and storage capacity of recyclables collected from commercial and institutional customers in northeast Colorado (Yuma, Washington, and Morgan Counties) by building a new recycling facility in Yuma County. This new facility will improve operational efficiencies, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the region’s recycling program. Funds will be used to lay concrete, erect a steel building, purchase equipment, and advertise the recycling program.
Spring Back Colorado (final report)
Project title: Building Mattress Recycling Capacity through a Spring Back Northern Colorado Hub-and-Spoke Network
Award: $297,770
Geographic area: Boulder, Larimer, and Weld Counties
Spring Back Colorado provides transitional and redemptive employment and training through environmentally responsible mattress and box spring recycling. This project serves to establish and operate a mattress recycling facility in northern Colorado (Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties). Funds will be used to purchase a box truck and trailer, complete facility retrofits, and advertise the new program to the community.
Southwest Colorado Council of Governments (final report)
Project title: Southwest Colorado Regional Education Project
Award: $34,918
Geographic area: Southwest Colorado
Southwest Colorado Council of Governments (SWCCOG) will use this opportunity to hire a consultant to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy including development of a website and printable materials available to the general public. SWCCOG will also engage an AmeriCorps volunteer to champion the marketing strategy and to educate elementary school children on the importance of waste diversion.
Vail Honeywagon Enterprises, LLC (final report)
Project title: Honeywagon Hub-and-Spoke Compost Program
Award: $311,500
Geographic area: Eagle County and the surrounding area
Vail Honeywagon Enterprises will create a network of six collection sites in the Eagle County region and establish a compost facility to process food and yard waste, ensuring a reliable feedstock of compostable material. Grant funds will be used to purchase the equipment needed to operate the compost facility, purchase collection containers, and to advertise the new program to the community.
Yuma County (final report)
Project title: Yuma County Landfill Recycling
Award: $3,960
Geographic area: Yuma County
This project aims to increase storage capacity of recyclable materials, specifically plastic containers and newspaper, at the Yuma County recyclables processing center. Funds will be used to purchase twelve, three-yard metal containers.

Regional Study Projects

Eagle County Public Works (final report)
Project title: Eagle County Regional Study to Optimize Waste Diversion
Award: $49,384
Geographic area: Eagle, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, and Routt Counties
This study will examine waste compositions, determine waste flows, identify gaps in infrastructure, and create partnerships within the study area. The goal of the study is to lay the groundwork for establishing shared regional infrastructure, increased diversion, and strong community engagement.
Otero County Health Department (final report)
Project title: Southeast Rural Colorado Waste Diversion Study
Award: $45,464
Geographic area: Otero and Crowley Counties and surrounding areas
Otero County Health Department will subcontract with the nonprofit association Clean Valley Recycling (CVR) to complete this study. As an economically depressed area of Colorado, the study seeks a path to develop economic opportunity, improve regional recycling participation, and deter illegal dumping and open burning.
Pueblo Area Council of Governments (final report)
Project title: Pueblo County Solid Waste Study
Award: $49,964
Geographic area: Pueblo County
The focus of this project is to conduct the first Pueblo area waste audit, which will provide important data for goals outlined in the Pueblo County Sustainability Plan, such as reducing solid waste within the county and diverting materials from county landfills. Additionally, this project will identify current residential diversion activities and economic opportunities that may be created from available recyclable volumes.
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (final report)
Project title: San Luis Valley Waste Diversion Plan
Award: $50,000
Geographic area: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties
The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council is a public lands advocate and leading environmental organization. This study aims to jump-start a strategic path to the optimization of waste diversion in a large rural part of Colorado.
Terra Firma Recycling Fund (final report)
Project title: Terra Firma Recycling's Regional Studies to Optimize Waste Diversion
Award: $49,297
Geographic area: Las Animas, Huerfano, and Baca Counties
This study area has a total of six landfills that serve a population of 26,000 people, which demonstrates a substantial need for planning and diversion. The goal of this study is to lay the groundwork for establishing shared regional infrastructure, increased diversion, and strong community engagement.
Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments (final report)
Project title: UAACOG Waste Optimization Regional Study
Award: $24,361
Geographic area: Lake, Chaffee, Custer and Fremont Counties
The region currently offers four landfills and one transfer station. Given the large size, but sparse population of this region, current and future infrastructure needs are extremely important. The primary scope of this project will be effective management of residential and commercial recyclables through the identification of and input from stakeholders, completion of a survey, and performing five waste audits in the four-county region. Finally, a gap analysis will be completed.

End-Market Development Projects

BioChar Now, LLC (final report)
Project title: Waste Wood Conversion to Biochar
Award: $352,645
Geographic area: Northern Colorado and statewide
Biochar manufacturing is a process where wood is converted into a charcoal-like product and is packaged in various sizes for end use. This product is used in a variety of industries such as nutrient pollution removal, agriculture, mine-tailing reclamation, water conservation, mercury removal, and odor control. This grant allows for the acquisition of a portable screen and magnetic system that removes soil, metals and other contaminants allowing the processing of wood waste diverted from landfills rather than log materials. Using waste wood as feedstock also decreases costs resulting in an increased usage of biochar product and provides a local market for recycled wood.
CH2E Colorado, LLC (final report)
Project title: Waste Tire Recycling for Erosion Control Products Manufacturing
Award: $162,832
Geographic area: Statewide
CH2E operates the largest waste tire monofill and recycling facility in Colorado. This opportunity provides funding for a rotex screener, bagging stations, scales, collection bins, and other equipment needed to change waste tires to a suitable feedstock for an end-use manufacturing process. Once in place, an additional 1.5 million waste tires will be recycled annually. The end-product will then be used to manufacture high quality, long-lasting erosion control products.
Direct Polymers, LLC (final report)
Project title: Producing End-User Feedstocks from Loose Plastic Scrap Opportunities
Award: $217,000
Geographic area: Denver metro area and statewide
Direct Polymers is a Denver-based recycler of post-industrial plastics that has developed opportunities to recycle loose plastic and produce feedstock from materials that are currently being landfilled. This funding aims to divert over 1,500 tons from Colorado landfills annually by establishing a single processing line consisting of a shredder, grinder, aspiration system, and metal separation and detection units.
Fort Collins Conservation District (final report)
Project title: Rural Solutions: Polypropylene Twine Recycling
Award: $488,000
Geographic area: Statewide
Over 6,000 tons of polypropylene twine used to bale hay is discarded annually in Colorado, filling up landfills, killing wildlife, and contaminating the environment throughout the state. This grant supports the creation of a state-wide processing center by funding equipment that shreds, cleans, and pelletizes the twine material, allowing for a Hub-and Spoke operation. The revenue created from this project will be used to fund nonprofit community collection groups (4-H clubs) and pay for transportation costs to the processing center.
Momentum Recycling, LLC (final report)
Project title: Rail Car Conveying Equipment and Bulk Bag Support and Hoist
Award: $291,714
Geographic area: Statewide
This project will result in the installation of a conveying system to transport materials to rail cars at an existing glass recycling operation. Additionally, a bulk bag unloading support structure and hoist will be installed to allow the movement of super sacks weighing 2,000 to 3,000 pounds. Ultimately, the processed glass will be transported to end-users who will produce abrasive materials or fiberglass insulation.