Meet Steven Winterbach, Co-Founder of the Colorado-based composting and recycling company, Next Use.
Steven is currently studying Management and Entrepreneurship with an emphasis in Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the Leeds School of Business. Steven was raised in South Africa and moved to England in 2011 where he served in the U.K. Royal Marine Commandos for six years. In 2017, Steven moved to Colorado where he decided to return to school.
Upon moving to Denver, he met other South Africans who shared the same passions and environmental concerns. Together, they created Next Use. Next Use aims to make waste management easier for households through their door side services, designed for people who don’t have access to municipal composting and recycling services.
About Next Use
The idea for Next Use was conceptualized in 2020 when Steven and his South African friends came together and began planning ways to help the environment. Steven and his co-founders all shared a passion for the environment and wanted to do something that could make an impact for the better. They determined that they should enter the waste diversion industry because not many programs currently existed to empower people to compost and recycle.
Next Use provides at-home recycling and composting services in Denver, Broomfield, and Westminster. Their goal is to limit the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Surprisingly, the landfill diversion rate in Colorado is only 15.9%, with the national average at 32.1%! Through their door side services, Next Use can provide access to composting and recycling to those who do not usually have access, such as apartment buildings or new communities.
In Denver, only 9% of households have signed up for the city’s composting program. Next Use is working to create a more accessible and efficient model with the current city program. With door side services and a variety of services to choose from, the team aims to make waste diversion easier for households.
This past March, Next Use officially launched their waste diversion operations. Steven elaborates,
“It's been a slow but steady growth. We are so humbled that people are signing up with our service and we're trying to spread the word. We are currently focusing on educating the public as much as possible about waste diversion and how easy it is to be a part of the solution. We want to make our services accessible to a wider range of customers which is why we are more affordable than our competitors.”
Next Use is comprised of two Co-Founders, Steven Winterbach and Ross Blount. Ross assists with operations and financial management. Bryan Rowe, another team member, assists with marketing strategy and growth. They currently have two teams located in Denver and Broomfield/Westminster and are focused on expanding in the near future.
Upcoming Projects/ Events
The Next Use team is partnering with Summit Sustainable Goods and creating package deals with their products and Next Use’s services to provide zero waste goods to clients and a reduced carbon footprint.
Next Use is also focused on expanding their services in the near future, by connecting with local recycling centers to dispose of other waste such as hard to recycle items. They want to continue educating communities on the proper ways to dispose of various items and limit the amount of waste in landfills.
Problem-solving was a common challenge Steven and his team faced. Each day, a new problem would appear, and together the team had to find a solution. Steven notes that moving through these challenges and generating solutions has been extremely rewarding, and it is a process that will continue throughout the entirety of their venture.
Steven also mentioned that the process of getting started was extremely difficult,
“I had in my mind this dream and vision of how I wanted the business to look, but with limited resources, I realized we just needed to start. People will grow with us. It’s important to know that nothing is going to be perfect from the outset.”
Advice for Current Students
Steven provides the following advice for current students,
“If you're sitting in class or driving somewhere and your mind starts drifting -- and you're thinking about one specific problem or business idea, try to focus on that one thing. And if you're really fixed on something, you will find a way to make it happen. I would say that's the most important piece.”
Next Use Process and Ways to Connect
To sign up for Next Use, please visit their website to view their available services/pricing. Once you register, a member of the Next Use team will provide you with information about your chosen service. Shortly after you touch base, compost and/or recycling bins will be delivered to your house. Every week, Next Use replaces your bins with clean bins for a hassle-free service.
For further reading, feel free to review an opinion piece published in the Colorado Sun written by Steven about the benefits of composting and recycling.
Follow Next Use on Instagram to keep up with upcoming events and education tips. If you have any questions about waste diversion or are interested in signing up for Next Use, call or email the team. They are happy to assist you!