Mycocycle – Harnessing mushrooms for waste management

Mycocycle – Harnessing mushrooms for waste management


Name: Mycocycle

Legal Name: Mycocycle, LLC

Location: Chicago, IL

Founded: 2018

Founder(s): Joanne Rodriguez


Social Media: 34 followers on Twitter

Industry: Global Waste Management Market

Size: $303.6Bn in 2017 (Source: Report Buyer)

Future: $484.9Bn by 2025 (Source: Report Buyer)


Mycocycle is a startup that is working towards using mushrooms to clean up building waste, and thus protect the environment, in a profitable manner. This waste management startup, according to Mycocycle’s website, seeks to facilitate a closed loop supply chain for industries – by turning their waste into reusable materials.

The Product

The building industry generates large volumes of waste that contain toxic chemicals and take up to 400 years to disintegrate. To prevent landfills from overflowing, Mycocycle seeks to harness mushrooms to feed on the toxic asphalt and petrochemicals (in roofing materials) – thereby rendering it safe-to-use. Through the low-emission and natural process of bioremediation, toxic waste is turned into recyclable products that can be used to manufacture new building products. Also, all-natural and durable mycomaterials (from the fungi) can be used as packaging materials, furniture, faux-leather, and so much more.

Origin and Founding Team

It all started when Joanne Rodriguez, a veteran of 30 years in the construction industry, noticed that the production of commercial roofing and waterproofing products was not environment-friendly. Also, these products were contaminated with carcinogenic asphalt, which made it harmful to reuse and recycle. To remedy issues such as this, she set up an environmental consulting firm – GreenStructure. That’s also when Rodriguez connected with Peter McCoy, a mycologist. Together, they began running tests, to see if mushrooms could successfully decompose phthalates as well as isolate heavy metals such as zinc, lead, arsenic, and cadmium – noxious chemical compounds found in roofing materials. These laboratory trials marked the origin of Mycocycle.

Performance and Trends

In March 2019, Mycocycle was accepted into the LatinX Incubator. It is also part of the Cleantech Open National Accelerator 2019.

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