Category Archives: Kidzone

Information about our work that our younger members can relate to.

Ryan’s Recycling – Making Waste Worthwhile!

At Green Waste Enterprises, one of our core values is to promote recycling and to educate people about the benefits of it for the environment.  We have campaigned long and hard to reach this goal.

We were totally blown away, therefore to find out about 6-year-old Ryan Hickman from San Juan Capistrano, California.  If there is one thing he loves, it’s sorting. So when, at the tender age of 3, his parents, let him come along to return some water bottles at a recycling center, he was thrilled to help.

“He likes to sort pretty much anything, and he liked putting the bottles in the machine,” Damion, said in a recent interview with The Capistrano Dispatch. “He probably got two or three bucks, and he was so excited about it. And of course then he got to sort his change, so that meant more sorting.”

There was no stopping Ryan after this and as soon as they got home Ryan told his Dad that he wanted to collect everyone’s recyclables.  He even got his Mom and Dad to hand out garbage bags to all his neighbors.

ryans recycling 2

That was the beginning of Ryan’s Recycling Company, established in 2012 in the family’s backyard. In the past 4 years he has already earned more than $10,000 by collecting cans and bottles from about 40 “customers” in five different neighborhoods.

Of course, being only 6 years old Ryan has to rely on his parents, grandmother and aunt to drive him around to collect his recyclables.  Ryan’s sorting facility consists of eight large trash cans that he sorts containers into—bottles and cans, plastics and glass, they all have their place. Ryan has learnt the difference between the types of recyclables and why it is important to keep trash separated.   Then every few weeks they visit the recycling center to cash in his hoard.

ryans recycling3

Since starting his business, Ryan has recycled 49,000 pounds of waste, 200,000 cans and bottles and has donated over $1,600 to charity.  The rest of his earnings have gone straight into a college savings account.

In a YouTube video posted last July, Ryan’s Dad asks if other people should start recycling to help save the earth.  He knows how important it is to keep trash out of our oceans to protect the environment and also the creatures that live in and around the oceans.  He worries that the birds at the beach might eat the trash and get sick or die.

Ryan is an example to us all.  If just one little boy can have get this much done, just imagine what we could achieve if WE ALL did just a fraction of what Ryan does.

“He’s very passionate about it, and he likes to get everybody else passionate about it as well,” his Mom said. “I think he’s rubbed off on all of us now. You find yourself walking past a can on the ground and needing to pick it up instead of walking away and leaving it there.”

This is exactly what we are trying to promote at Green Waste Enterprises.  Ryan has shown that if you start young enough, then recycling just becomes a way of life.  He doesn’t recycle because his Dad told him to do it……….he does it because he knows it is the right thing to do……….and he understands the benefits of it.  Well done Ryan……….



with thanks to Allison Jarrell, Capistrano Dispatch


Leonardo DiCaprio – Before the Flood

Leonardo DiCaprio has told the BBC’s Newsbeat that he thinks climate change is the biggest issue facing young people today.

He was speaking at the premiere of his documentary about environmental issues, Before The Flood, at the London Film Festival.

The film sees the Oscar-winning actor travel the world to see the impact of global warming first hand.

He says there are many things young people can do, but the most important is to use their vote.

“I think this is the issue of [young people’s] generation and there has been a huge movement out there from the youth,” he told Newsbeat.

“The main thing is to try to vote for political leaders that are going to do something about climate change, because it affects them directly.

“It really boils down to their vote, if we have political leaders in office that do not want to take fundamental steps to combat this issue we are ultimately doomed.

“And the best way you can do that in a democracy is by putting people in office that are going to take action.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and film director Fisher Stevens

Both Leo and filmmaker Fisher Stevens said when making this film, they wanted to focus on the youth.

“It is for the youth, it is to inspire the youth, it is to know what is going on because that will inspire them more because they will know what is going on,” Fisher told us at the premiere.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been campaigning on environmental issues and climate for a number of years and is also a messenger of peace for the UN.

He says with this film, as well as inspiring a young generation, he wants to put to rest the argument that there isn’t an issue.

“You can listen to pundits but ultimately we have to listen to the scientific community,” he told us.

“As we have stated many times in this movie, if you don’t believe in man-made climate change then you don’t believe in gravity.

In discussion with Barack Obama who features in the documentary

“We also present solutions and this is going to take everyone from all walks of life, from everywhere around the world.”

He says he’s grateful the agreement, which will limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) found in fridges and air conditioners, has been agreed.

“This is going to be something that affects young people for decades and decades,” he said.

“It will affect their children and their grandchildren and their life. It is a long-term problem and we need long term solutions.

“But we need an entire generation out there that is going to be focused on this issue, use their vote to put people in their office that are going to take action on this issue and get involved.”

Before The Flood premieres on the National Geographic Channel on 30 October

(article courtesy of BBC News)



Cans Recycling – How to get started?

Setting up a recycling scheme at school is a stimulating way for students to get ‘hands-on’ experience of the benefits of recycling and learning about the environment.

Getting Started:

  1. First step……’ve already taken it by coming to this site to find out the best way to set up a scheme in your school.
  2. Announce the start of the scheme in school and at home. You can also ask pupils/students to collect cans at home and bring them into school for recycling.
  3. Set up collection points for recycling – place containers close to vending machines, in canteens, and group recycling containers together.
  4. Make it fun! Recycling can be a vibrant part of your school activities and daily life. Why not hold special assemblies, encourage staff to utilise our free teaching resources.
  5. Communicate regularly with teachers, pupils and their families to remind them about the recycling scheme. Use notice boards, newsletters, the school website, letters home and word of mouth – shout about how well the scheme is doing!


Handy Tips:

  1. Tell the cleaner or janitor! Make sure he/she is aware that the recycling bins should not be emptied into the general rubbish but saved for recycling.
  2. Find out where your local can recycling centre is and how what is the minimum weight they will accept.
  3. Keep track of how much you have collected so far………and circulate the good news. This will keep everyone motivated and encourage them to recycle more.
  4. Make sure you have enough bags or boxes to keep your recycling in.
  5. To save space, squash cans before saving them.
  6. Remember….if you’re not sure whether your can is made of aluminum…..get a magent.  Aluminum is not magnetic so the magnet won’t stick.
  7. Make sure you rinse out the cans before recycling them – food waste left inside cans contaminates the recycling process.

For information about aluminum and the recycling process click here.


The Problem with Plastics

What is the problem with plastics?

Plastic is everywhere… and I do mean everywhere! This is because people make it in large quantities because it is so useful in just about everything people do. That’s why waste plastic is becoming a serious problem, especially around the world’s coastlines and oceans.

turtle trapped in plastic

Did you know…………?

  • that since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic has been thrown away? And where do you think most of this has gone……….?  Straight into the Oceans!
  • the USA produced almost 32 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2012 and that less than 9 per cent of that waste got recycled.
  • By 2012, the world’s oceans contained 165 million tons of plastic pollution.
  • If all the plastic humans make every year was weighed in elephants, how many elephants would you need? Answer: 30 million!!! If all those elephants stood in a line, it would stretch more than 5 times round our planet.

Why do we use plastics?

People make a lot of things out of plastic because it is cheap and versatile. Plastic things also last a long time. This can be very useful for people but it’s one of the biggest problems for the environment. This is because of the second — and bad — property. Most plastics last just about forever because no life form has yet evolved which can EAT plastic. Almost everything else made by humans gets broken down, either by microbes which can use waste as food or by natural decay of metals like steel. The sun or the pounding of waves on the seashores of the world does break up plastic into little bits but the little bits don’t vanish… and that is one of the biggest problems with this human-made stuff.

50 billion plastic bottles used in US
50 billion plastic bottles used in US

Where does all the plastic end up?

Imagine you’re sailing across the Pacific Ocean, way out of sight of land, right? So you don’t expect your boat to be pushing through great rafts of floating plastic for mile after mile, do you? Welcome to the great Pacific garbage patch… and to a modern myth because there aren’t “great rafts of floating plastic”. The “garbage patch” certainly exists — and there are several others — but the plastic is mostly small bits the size of confetti or smaller. It floats in the surface layers of the ocean forming a sort of thin ‘soup’ (yuk!). This plastic garbage is caught in the best known of 5 giant rotating ocean currents called gyres. These floating patches of plastic debris have become worrying new ecosystems which scientists call the “Plastisphere”.

Unfortunately, many marine animals mistake some types of plastic for food and eat them. Turtles often die because the plastic they eat blocks their digestive system so they starve. Marine mammals (like dolphins) often get trapped by plastic nets or ropes and either drown or starve to death: “ghost fishing“. Great and rare sea birds like albatrosses also get tangled up in old fishing gear and die. Around 400,000 marine mammals die every year due to plastic pollution in oceans. The list of horrible facts about plastics goes on and on.

Plastics also poison the animals that eat them. Eventually, much of the floating ocean plastic sinks to the sea floor or ends up on beaches all around the world. People don’t see the rubbish on the sea floor but the animals (filter feeders like worms) accidentally eat it.

What can you all do about it?

Obviously people aren’t going to stop making plastics. They are just so useful in so many things. So first, you humans need to know that plastic is a big problem. Then you can start to do something about it. Here are some ideas for you to think about and then get active!

The Three Rs are now Four – do you know what they are?

  1. Reduce – don’t buy so much that is packaged in plastic
  2. Re-use – if you must buy plastic bottles, then use them over again
  3. Recycle – find out what you can recycle and where to take it
    and number 4…….?
  4. REFUSE – many cities have now banned single use plastic bags – make sure you go shopping prepare with your own supply of bags.

Recycle City – Interactive Game

Welcome to Recycle City
Welcome to Recycle City

Welcome to Recycle City!

Just a few years ago, this place was called Dumptown. For years, the folks living here hadn’t thought much about where their food, toys and other possessions came from – or where they went when they threw them out. And, eventually, that became a very BIG problem…

Because Dumptowners didn’t know what happened to waste after it was thrown away, they thought nothing of dropping empty soda cans here and there or putting cans of leftover paint right into their trash cans. They bought and dumped more and more every year. Things that easily could have been reused or recycled were tossed in the trash,

because nobody knew recycling made a difference. At the dump, they threw dangerous chemicals and poisons (hazardous waste) into the regular garbage (solid waste).

The garbage heap grew and began to smell. Sometimes it caught fire, sending toxic smoke into the air and making it hard for everyone to breathe. Dumptowners tried moving away from the mess, but wherever they moved, the problem was still there—on the ground and in the air. They knew they had to fix it.

They learned to reduce the amount of waste they threw away. For example, they bought items at the store that weren’t wrapped in extra packaging, so there would be less to throw away, and they bought products in larger containers. They learned to reuse other things—like washing out empty containers to store food in instead of throwing them away. And, they learned to recycle. They set up bins around town to collect glass, paper, plastics, and aluminum that could be converted back into raw materials, then made into new products. They turned their food scraps and yard trimmings into rich compost to grow their gardens.

Dumptowners paid special attention to reducing the toxic materials they bought, such as trying safer pest control products or household cleaners. For the hazardous products they did buy, Dumptown set up special collection points where people could drop off used chemicals, paints, and cleansers for safe handling and proper disposal. Finally, they closed the old city dump and built a new solid waste landfill outside of town. With the town’s new image, it needed a new name, and Recycle City was born. Travel around Recycle City and find out what folks here are doing to reduce waste and make the environment better.

Click on the picture at the top of the page or just click here to enter this interactive game.

There’s lots to do here – people and places to visit and plenty of ways to explore how the city’s residents recycle, reduce, and reuse waste.

To get started, just click on any section of Recycle City that you want to tour, or click on the Dumptown Game. You can create your own Recycle City scavenger hunt or go to the Activities area and see other ways you can explore.

We think this is a GREAT site to educate kids on recycling and ways to reduce waste.



Recycling Aluminium Cans – Facts

Recycling 1 aluminum can saves enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours and a TV for 2 hours. That’s just from 1 can.

Here are the top 4 recycling facts about aluminium cans:

Half of all aluminium cans are recycled

That’s a total of 105 million cans a year. This is enough to build more than 70,000 Boeing 737 airplanes – almost 10 times the total number of 737’s ever build!


Saves a lot of energy!

The recycling of cans saves enough energy to power more than 4.4 million European homes for an entire year. If all cans were recycled, this figure could be doubled…


Mining avoided

Recycling of aluminium cans not only saves energy. It also avoids the mining of new Bauxite ore used for aluminium production. Every year, recycling avoids nearly 5 percent of the world’s total mining of Bauxite – and that’s just from recycling aluminium cans.


It never wears out

Aluminium can be recycled forever – without losing any of its qualities.

Discarded cans
Discarded cans

So why not set up a recycling scheme at your school or workplace.  Complete the contact form below and we will put you in touch with resources local to you.



It Just Takes Two – The Launch



It Just Takes Two Campaign Volunteers

Our group of willing volunteers met for tea and coffee at The Vincent Hotel on Lord Street, Southport to await the arrival of The Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton.  We were very keen to meet The Mayor as we had read about his interest in waste, recycling and its effect on the environment, but we were simply blown away by his knowledge of the subject and also his willingness to really get involved in our event.

Bandstand area Lord Street Southport

There had been a last minute change of venue for our litter pick, and we selected the bandstand area in front of The Vincent, as this is such a focal point on Lord Street – which describes itself as a “Classic Resort” with a tree-lined boulevard and many historic buildings and Victorian verandas.

Mayor and Mayoress helping It Just Takes Two

But as you can see this was heaven-sent in the end as it allowed both The Mayor and The Mayoress a very much “hands-on” involvement with the campaign and this really helped to inspire the young volunteers from Southport Sea Cadets, who had come along with a team from the local Asda store led on their Big Litter Pick by their Community Champion, Sharon Gregory-Wareing – who was an absolute star getting everyone organised on the day!!!

We were so pleased to see so many young people getting involved in this event and their hard work and commitment to keeping their town free of litter was to be applauded.


We also had assistance from Councillor Sue McGuire and her team of volunteers from “Rubbish Friends” who have recently formed in Southport with the aim of helping to clean up local grot spots.

The whole occasion was a real community effort starting off with The Vincent Hotel who hosted the Mayoral Reception and provided the teas and coffees and even provided the volunteers with healthy packed lunches.  The Duty Manager Moira and her Reception and catering team kept the teas and coffees flowing and also assisted in the disposal of the litter collected afterwards.

The Printquarter in Southport also helped to publicise the event by providing us with a banner and our heartfelt thanks go to Russell McLean the Centre Manager for his assistance.  Russell even gave up his time to come along and get involved.  He said that he found it “invigorating to see a dynamic mix of people coupled with local business giving up their Saturday morning……………..getting hands on with an issue like that gives you an enormouse sense of satisfaction and it just goes to show that we can all make a difference”.

Likewise thanks are also due to Southport College for the loan of equipment that was vital for the cleanup operation.  It felt really great to be surrounded by such a cross section of our local community and it showed that there ARE people out there who care about the environment and understand how important it is that we all come together to make a difference.

We now need to build on this GREAT occasion and move onwards and upwards to take our message into schools so that our young people can truly appreciate that It Just Takes Two!

community effort for It Just Takes Two


Battery Recycling Facts

Each year in the UK, we throw away about 620 million used batteries.  If you laid them end to end, they would reach from UK to Australia.  In the US, the amount of battery waste is 20-30,000 tonnes, yet only 1,000 tonnes are recycled.  Batteries can be found in virtually every room of the house – remote controls, mobile phones, wireless equipment and toys.  The average person uses about 10 batteries per year.

Unfortunately most of these batteries go straight into the bin and end up in landfill sites.  There are lots of types of batteries that contain dangerous chemicals such as lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium and even mercury!  When these batteries start to rot in landfill sites, these chemicals starts to leak out into the ground which can cause soil and water contamination which can be harmful to animals, humans and the environment.  When you recycle your batteries they are taken apart safely and then used to make new products.

Let’s see what happens to those batteries……

Here is a reminder of the different types of batteries we use every day…..

Different types of batteries
Different types of batteries