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.
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.
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……….
MAKING WASTE WORTHWHILE!
with thanks to Allison Jarrell, Capistrano Dispatch