Impact Tech | May 13, 2024

Mycocycle snags $2.2 million to recycle waste into fungi-based materials

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

Startups are leveraging the strength and durability of mycelia, the threadlike root structure of mushrooms, to create sustainable products for the fashion, automotive, food packaging and construction industries.

Chicago-based Mycocycle’s MYCOntainer is a climate-controlled environment for processing toxic construction waste, which can then be treated and blended with lab-cultivated fungi to create low-carbon materials for asphalt shingles, concrete, drywall, insulation boards and other hard-to-recycle building materials.

“We’re primed to leverage mushrooms, the planet’s recyclers, across the nation’s waste and building materials sectors to reduce emissions in two of the heaviest-polluting industries and transform waste to resources,” said Mycocycle’s Joanne Rodriguez

Circular economy

Mycocycle’s focus is the construction industry, which produces hundreds of millions tons of waste each year. Since 2018, Mycocycle has detoxified 12,000 pounds of hard-to-recycle waste from construction partners, turning them into new raw materials. Mycocycle says its MYCOntainer treats harmful toxins in these materials by up to 98% on average.

Anthropocene Ventures led the seed financing round, with participation from TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Alumni Ventures and Telescopic Ventures. Mycocycle has raised $3.7 million to date.