CIRCULAR COLORADO

Pioneering innovative solutions to turn waste into a resource and close the gap on a sustainable, circular economy.

Founding Supporters

What We Do

We provide operations-focused services for all elements of designing and implementing circular economy solutions. From collection system design to end market development, we help businesses, building owners, manufacturers, recyclers, and cities thrive.

Circular Colorado is committed to expanding access to recycling by offering its expertise in both program design and operations as well as infrastructure deployment.  

To close the loop, we work to connect waste materials with end markets to create solutions that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Our approach is truly end-to-end, from capture to manufacture, and we’re proud to work with stakeholders in all stages of the waste lifecycle.

As conveners and project managers, our work is comprehensive—covering all stages and stakeholders involved in waste lifecycles. Scroll down to read about our approach.

Our Mission

To advance the collection of pre/post-consumer waste and C&D materials to expand and establish Colorado as a leader in sustainable economies.

Our Vision

To establish Colorado as a leader in developing circular economy solutions.

We’re dedicated to providing comprehensive end-to-end solutions for all stakeholders in a circular economy—from manufacturers and consumers to recyclers, waste haulers, and municipalities.

Circular Colorado represents a juncture between recycling, manufacturing, transportation, academia, technology, workforce development, and private and public sectors, all working together to innovate and create market solutions for recovered and recycled materials.

We focus on being the convener, facilitator, and project manager for the end market solutions that will afford Colorado’s economy sustainable, long-term growth.

Collection Project Case Study

Current End Market Projects

Textiles

Connecting the local textile industrial supply chain to develop an efficient and integrated recycling infrastructure for textile waste.

Shingles

Creating new, viable markets by capturing waste material through processing technology to meet the requirements for new shingles.

Plastic film and packaging

Plastics

Expanding markets by standing heavy manufacturing facility to create products
from the plastics being collected and processed in Colorado.

What is a Circular Economy?

An industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by design.

A circular business model uses resources efficiently and prioritizes renewable inputs. It maximizes a product’s usage and lifetime to achieve maximum value. At the end of the product’s life, the product and any by-products in its manufacturing are recovered and reused to make new materials or products.

As we look to create circular economies, it will be critical that the end market solutions employ one or more of the three basic strategies in creating a circular business model.

It will be crucial for end-market providers to employ at least one or more of the three primary circular business model strategies.

Our Approach

Work on the expansion and creation of end markets for recyclable materials through facilitation, project management, and consulting.

Work to help manufacturers utilize recyclable materials.

Work with the transportation industry to facilitate and support the supply chain.

Work on the expansion and creation of end markets for recyclable materials through facilitation, project management, and consulting.

Assist end-market companies in securing grant and investment funding.

Our Services

Providing solutions at every step of the circular business process takes the services to match—our team has the expertise to provide waste/recycling end-market solutions across the board.

Circular Economy Development Center
  • The center aims to empower and facilitate connections between Colorado businesses to create products using materials that Coloradans recycle.
Collection Program Design and Execution
  • Multi-family housing
  • Commercial and office buildings
  • Manufacturing and industrial sites
End Market Development Services and Consulting
  • Meeting and project facilitation
  • Go-to market strategy
  • Stakeholder recruitment and engagement
  • Research and reporting
  • Brokering of materials
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Land use planning and permitting
  • Processes, Governance, and KPIs
Project Management
  • Material collection programs
  • Project funding and grants
  • End market development solutions

Our Team

Board of Directors
Jenifer Freeman

Jenifer Freeman is the Director of Public Relations, Government Affairs and Sustainability for Swire Coca-Cola, USA in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming. She is responsible for managing external relationships and issues with government officials, third party stakeholders, industry organizations and community partners. In addition, Freeman develops programs to address critical issues, such as recycling, water, workforce development and women’s empowerment with partners, customers and government officials and agencies. Freeman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s Degree from the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies.

Wendy Fauth

Wendy Fauth is passionate about Colorado’s recycling industry and continually seeks to improve diversion rates and operations through innovative and sustainable methods. As a 26-year recycling industry leader, Wendy is currently the General Manager of GFL’s Denver MRF, which process over 125,000 (US) tons annually and employs over 85 people. Wendy is a safety champion and collaborates with industry members to find the best solutions to our industry’s issues. 

Alice Havill

Alice is a Business Fellow in the Breakthrough Energy Fellows Program, where she supports innovation teams that are working to develop and commercialize groundbreaking climate technologies needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Fellows program is part of the Breakthrough Energy network, founded by Bill Gates. Alice has a passion for developing teams, businesses, and technologies that transform emerging social and environmental needs into market-based opportunities. Companies she has worked with include LanzaTech Inc. and Vartega Inc.  She also spent time in venture capital with the Colorado Impact Fund. Alice holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Materials from the University of Auckland and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Corporate Finance from the University of Denver.

(Tag: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alice-havill/)

Adam Hill

Adam is the founding partner and co-owner of Direct Polymers. Direct Polymers is a Denver-based plastics recycling facility specializing in post-industrial and post-consumer plastics processing and compounding. Adam has fourteen years of experience in operating plastics recycling facilities throughout the United States. He was born and raised in Aurora, Colorado and graduated from Smoky Hill High School in 2001, then went on to Duke University where he was a collegiate athlete and earned degrees in economics and political science.

Michael Utz

Mike Utz was the founding and operating partner in the conception and development of the Kansas City area glass recycling company, Ripple Glass. He continues involvement in sustainability and recycling initiatives around his new home in the Denver metropolitan area.  After several years of engineering work at Keebler Company’s Kansas City manufacturing operation, culminating in management of the engineering functions of the plant, he made the move to Boulevard Brewing Company. Mike was responsible for the technical direction of the company’s plant and facility, helping lead the company to a position of prominence within the brewing industry. 

Kym Beck
Kym Beck

Kym has been in the recycling industry for over 15 years. As the current Recycling/Waste Supervisor for the City of Grand Junction, she is continuously researching recycling and diversion options for her local community and makes it her mission to educate the public on recycling responsibly. Prior to her role with Grand Junction, Kym contributed to recycling in the private sector with Curbside Recycling Indefinitely promoting both residential and commercial recycling in Grand Junction.

Staff
Laurie Johnson
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Prior to Circular Colorado, Laurie was the Chief Operating Officer for a local hauling company. Laurie has also  served as the Executive Director for Recycle Colorado, VP of Client  Services for Recyclebank, and she owned a product distribution business  in Phoenix for eight years. She serves on multiple boards in Colorado,  including being the Board Chair for the Front Range Waste Diversion  Board. Laurie holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs and an MBA in  Sustainable Business.  

Eric Heyboer
Chief Operations Officer

Eric started his career at the Boulder County Household Hazardous Waste Facility, eventually transitioning into a role that administered a comprehensive zero waste program for Boulder County offices. For nearly a decade, Eric served as a grants administrator for the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity grant program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He served two terms on the Recycle Colorado Board of Directors. After a three-year stint as a US Department of Energy contractor, Eric is excited to return to his roots in recycling and waste reduction. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies.

Amy Randell
Chief Business Officer

Amy has more than 18 years of experience working with the recycling industry.  She worked for Recycle Colorado from 2005 to 2016, beginning as the membership coordinator and eventually serving as the interim executive director.  Amy serves on the Assistance Committee to the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and as the vce chair for the Northern Colorado Recycling Council. She has a bachelor’s degree in ecological restoration from CSU.

Environmental Social Governance (ESG)

The success of a more efficient, eco-friendly circular economy depends on all of us. But getting the critical mass of Colorado’s population on board can’t happen without a truly holistic approach…

And this is where environmental social governance (ESG)  makes a world of difference. 

We recognize that a zero-waste economy won’t happen overnight, and the transition won’t be easy. Still, the sustainability standards ESG provides are a win-win for businesses, consumers, and the planet alike.

As a business owner, mitigating climate change and operating with sustainability in mind makes your business more attractive to consumers, and a standout choice for potential investors. In fact, 25% of investments are made in companies that utilize the ESG business framework.

The bottom line is, ESG is better for your business (and the environment)—and if you’re ready to incorporate environmental social governance into your operations, you’re in the right place. 

Our team can help you understand ESG, what it means for your business, and how it can be used to continuously improve sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Colorado is one of a handful of states passing innovative new legislation regarding plastic products and waste. Essentially, extended producer responsibility (EPR) places responsibility for the end-of-life of a given product on the producer. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, this program is designed to:

  • Provide funding mechanisms for recycling services and infrastructure across the state.
  • Increase recycling access in Colorado, including apartments and rural areas. 
  • Save local governments money by reimbursing their costs to run their recycling programs.
  • Support Colorado businesses by creating a more resilient domestic supply of raw materials to make new products.
  • Encourage producers to design and manage covered materials to prevent/minimize their negative environmental, social, economic, and health impacts.

Note: This program only requires businesses with gross total revenues of $5 million or more to participate. 

While navigating the logistics of extended producer responsibility might seem like a headache, we’re here to help.

We’re proud to be Colorado’s go-to resource for collection and end-market solutions, stakeholder facilitation and project management,—and we specialize in connecting businesses with the right service providers to make the transition to a circular economy easy and seamless.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

We support policies that promote circular economy development.

Colorado:

Circular Economy Development Center

HOUSE BILL 22-1159

Extended Producer Responsibility

HOUSE BILL 22-1355

Front Range Waste Diversion

HOUSE BILL 19-192

Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Act

SENATE BILL 13-050

Electronic Recycling Jobs Act

SENATE BILL 12-133

Paint Collection Program

SENATE BILL 14-029
Let’s enact positive change for Colorado’s economy…

Contact Us Today for More Information!

We’re here to help business owners, municipalities, recyclers, waste haulers, and more make the most of circular business models.

    info@circularcolorado.org

    Circular Colorado © 2023. All Rights Reserved.

    info@circularcolorado.org

    Circular Colorado © 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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