Circular Valley startups develop "Ebay for waste"

The international founders in the Circular Valley® funding program are working on ideas that prevent emissions in the order of billions of tons. One focus: platforms that enable the exchange of supposed waste.
Billions of tons of industrial waste worldwide are generated every year, many of which have so far been landfilled or incinerated. The recycling rate in this area is in single-digits levels. This is regrettable in two ways: the environment and climate are unnecessarily polluted, and valuable materials are lost that could prevent the use of new materials. The cause of this problem often lies in the lack of connection - between those who generate waste and those who could put the materials to good use. That's why several international startups are working to develop platforms for exchanging such products, a kind of "Ebay for waste". Three of them are currently in Circular Valley® and are decisively advancing their ideas there.

The initiative, which aims to make the extended Rhine-Ruhr region a global hotspot for the circular economy, currently supports 14 young companies from around the world. These startups are engaged in different topics (water treatment, green building, sustainable transport, renewable energies and platform solutions) and share one characteristic: their ideas have a "giga-impact," which means they can avoid emissions in the order of billions of tons.

With the platforms, Circular Valley® draws attention to a concern that is a regular topic in the initiative's network. Partners from the established industry state that their production practices often give rise to material streams that they can no longer use, but that could still help others. At the same time, companies repeatedly mention their ability to turn residual materials back into valuable materials, if they were given the residual materials. The following three startups are working on this crucial link:

Mika Cycle: The French startup is an expert in plastic recycling. The startup began by researching the pain points and weaknesses in the procurement process and then developed their global marketplace for high-quality recycled plastic. Trading on its marketplace should be as easy as possible for both sides. Quality and trust are paramount for Mika Cycle to enable the progress they hope to make. Transparent supply chains are an important building block in this. The goal: Where plastic cannot be avoided, as much of it as possible should remain in the cycle. To this end, the company wants to standardize recycling processes and make them more productive.
Mika Cycle, Scott Brooks
Photo: Circular Valley®/Jan Turek.

Clickwaste from Heidelberg already uses its slogan to clarify what change is associated with the platform: "Turning waste to value," it reads. This means that waste materials that companies previously had to pay to dispose of suddenly become a new revenue stream. Clickwaste offers its services for a wide range of materials – in the same way that individual consumers are familiar with from online marketplaces.
Clickwaste, Daniel Vuynovich
Photo: Circular Valley®/Jan Turek.

Cyrkl: The founders from Austria and the Czech Republic have launched Europe's largest online waste platform – with more than 18.000 registered companies in 11 countries. Cyrkl offers three services: a free-of-charge marketplace that customers can use independently. For more complex cases, the startup offers its customers a fee-based consulting, to support them throughout the process. Cyrkl's consulting activities are even more intensive in the third field of activity, which deals with strategic and structural solutions. Here, waste is analyzed and suggestions are made for the most suitable ways of dealing with it.
CDavid Mattersdorfer (left), Cyril Klepek
Photo: Circular Valley®/Jan Turek.
If you would like to meet the representatives of Cyrkl, Mika Cycle and Clickwaste in person or in a video conference, we'd be happy to organize an appointment for you. Please contact us at press@circular-valley.org.

The images show David Mattersdorfer (left) and Cyril Klepek (Cyrkl), Scott Brooks (Mika Cycle) and Dr. Daniel Vuynovich (Clickwaste). They can be used free of charge for reporting on the current batch of the Circular Economy Accelerator. Source: Jan Turek/Circular Valley®