NextCycle Michigan is an initiative from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) that leverages public and private sector assistance along with investment across six Innovation Challenge Tracks to accelerate Michigan’s recycling and waste recovery system. One of the innovation tracks focuses on organics recycling — NextCycle Michigan Food, Liquids, Organic Waste Systems (FLOWS). The application period for organics recovery ideas opened on April 30, 2021 and currently is scheduled to close on June 4, 2021. Selected teams will participate in an incubator style experience to advance their ideas to increase/improve food recovery and collection, expand finished compost end markets, create innovative uses for wood waste, and in general, improve organics recovery in Michigan.
The FLOWS Track is open to businesses, entrepreneurs, universities, public agencies, tribal communities and nonprofits that have investable project ideas with the potential to transform Michigan’s organics recycling economy. Out-of-state teams are eligible; however, the project must address materials in Michigan and ultimately be located in Michigan. Selected teams will receive: Individualized project plan development and support; Access to business, industry, and investment experts; Direct consulting support; Matchmaking with partners and funders; Participation in workshops and networking events, e.g., business bootcamp, project showcase, investor forum; and Private and public funding opportunities.
“Currently, over 367,000 tons of organics, mainly yard waste, are recovered in the state each year,” notes Matt Flechter, recycling market development specialist for EGLE. “However, we need to capture an additional 1.1 million tons/year of mostly food scraps and wood waste to reach the state’s goal of a 45% recovery rate. The FLOWS Track will help organizations accelerate to the next step in addressing the organics recovery deficit in Michigan and create a positive impact on community, environment and economy.”
NextCycle Michigan aims to be inclusive in its engagement and will employ a lens that values and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion. Minority and women-owned businesses are encouraged to apply. Download the application packet containing information on the FLOWS Track, eligibility criteria, application process and cycle deadlines.