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Bolstering innovative projects that reduce food waste, increase recycling, and put valuable resources back into the economy


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Bolstering innovative projects that reduce food waste, increase recycling, and put valuable resources back into the economy


The King County Solid Waste Division and the Washington State departments of Ecology and Commerce announce 16 projects for the inaugural NextCycle Washington Circular Accelerator – a program that provides business support to innovators in waste prevention and recycling. Selected projects focus on a range of waste prevention issues that are good for the environment, including food waste and composting, repair and reuse, and expanding access to recycling services.


Sixteen projects that support regional climate action goals to reduce food waste, increase recycling, and put valuable resources into the local economy instead of a landfill will receive technical assistance and business development backing from King County’s Solid Waste Division and the state departments of Ecology and Commerce.

The NextCycle Washington Circular Accelerator Program will bolster innovative projects from across the state — the majority of which are women and minority-owned — that focus on waste prevention and reduction.

The 2022 program will have two tracks: “upstream,” focused on preventing waste or improving reuse and repair of materials, and “downstream,” focused on improving, innovating, or expanding recycling, food waste recovery, and end uses for recycling materials.

“We are excited about NextCycle Washington’s first group of participants, representing women-led and minority organizations,” said Pat McLaughlin, King County Solid Waste Division director. “This is the intention of the initiative – to support new projects and innovative ideas in waste prevention and reuse throughout the state.”

Over the next six months, the NextCycle Washington teams will work closely with experienced mentors, consultants, and experts to improve and refine program participants’ business models and project plans. The program will conclude with a pitch competition in which the teams will demonstrate their shovel ready projects to a live audience.

The NextCycle Washington teams that have been selected for 2022-2023 include these King County-based projects:

Upstream projects
  • GearGarage, creating peer-to-peer rental of outdoor gear by matching renters with available products
  • Just Right Bite, creating insect-based pet food and supplements
  • Plover, helping businesses create an upcycled product line within their brand using their unsellable inventory and textiles
  • Refugee Artisan Initiative, expanding reuse of materials, such as fire hoses, by refugee and immigrant women
  • South King Tool Library, developing a viable “Tool Library in a Box” model, including a combination of text documents, videos, resources, marketing packets, and professional guidance
Downstream projects
  • Book Hill Group Inc., designing products — such as garment bags and household accessories  — for laundry, textiles, and wardrobes using recycled materials
  • Duwamish Valley Sustainability Association, a South Park youth-led team working to create sustainable fuel from organic waste while building community capacity
  • Regenerated Textiles, creating a local circular economy for textile waste, transforming landfill-bound clothing into new materials in shipping container-sized recycling modules
  • Restaurant 2 Garden, a decentralized, hyperlocal system that composts local restaurant food waste into fertilizer and redistributes it to community gardens

The teams were chosen by a diverse group of external experts and people with lived experience from industry, local governments, and communities. They were selected based on concept feasibility, value to Washington’s circular economy, project team qualifications, as well as environmental, social, and economic impacts.

The program is accepting applications through Nov. 16 for the Renew Seed Grants of up to $10,000 for developing early-stage projects focused on material waste reduction, reuse, repair, or recycling of materials in Washington.

NextCycle Washington is a statewide initiative of King County's Solid Waste Division, Washington Departments of Ecology and Commerce, Seattle Public Utilities, and the Washington Recycling Development Center.

It contributes to King County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan, the blueprint for County climate action, integrating climate change into all areas of County operations and work with King County cities, partners, communities, and residents.

Relevant links

Annie Kolb-Nelson, Solid Waste Division, 206-477-5373