A 9-Year-Old Launches Ryan’s Recycling and Earns Over $10 000

6 mins read

While little boys are out playing in the dirt or getting into mischief, there’s one particular boy who is really turning heads with his own company called, Ryan’s Recycling.

Ryan’s Passion For Recycling

It isn’t every day you meet a little guy who is eager to change the world or who has a passion for recycling, but that’s exactly what you get with Ryan Hickman. It took only one trip to a local recycling center for everything to change for this little guy and his community, and what would eventually inspire Ryan’s Recycling.

It all started back when Ryan was 3-years-old and took a trip to a local recycling center with his dad. After handing in some cans and bottles and receiving some change in return, Ryan’s entrepreneurial mind began to shine. He was amazed at the idea of exchanging trash for some cash while also reducing the carbon footprint we leave on this planet.  And he wanted to do more of it. So, at the young age of 3, he declared that he wanted to take recycling more seriously, but no one expected what was next…

One Goal Turns Into a Big Mission

The first step for Ryan’s goal to recycle more was to get whomever he could to also take recycling more seriously. So, he handed empty plastic bags to his neighbours, friends and relatives so they could begin to save their empty bottles and cans for him to recycle. It didn’t take long for word to spread throughout his California town, which eventually led to this little guy starting his own recycling company called Ryan’s Recycling.

To date, Ryan’s Recycling has collected and recycled over 707,000 bottles and cans. That’s equivalent to 105,000 pounds of trash recycled. His reasoning? “It’s because bottles get to the ocean and then animals get sick and die.”

As for the extra change he earns from his good deeds, Ryan puts it away for his future education. However, he also isn’t shy about sharing his idea of purchase a massive truck so he can become a garbage man and recycle even more trash.

Ryan’s Recycling Donates to The Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Before he knew it, Ryan was so popular throughout his Orange Country community that he began to find additional ways to earn some funds. So, he launched his own t-shirt brand and often donates the money to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. “I like to go there and look at sea lions, and the money that we donate to them gives them medicine and food,” he says about his reasoning for donating his extra revenue. To date, Ryan’s Recycling has donated $9844 to this organization all in an effort to save the ocean and everything living in it.

Paying It Forward

reduce waste, how to recycle, recycling companies,

Now, that’s one way to pay it forward! If Ryan, who started all of this at the mere age of 3-years-old, can make some changes to reduce trash by recycling, we all can. Ryan’s passion for recycling has earned him a variety of awards, including the Citizen of the Year Award, Recycling Champion Award, and the Action For Nature ECO-Hero Award.  But of course, his greatest accomplishments pertain to the massive amount of trash he has collected, recycled and essentially, kept from ended up in the ocean.

But it wasn’t enough for Ryan to recycle over 500,000 bottles and cans. He wanted to do more, so when he isn’t recycling, Ryan participates in interviews, television shows and radio shows to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and saving the earth.

How Can You Help Reduce Waste?

It really isn’t difficult to reduce waste, which is why it’s so shocking that over 8 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean each year. So, it’s time to take a page out of Ryan’s Recycling book and start recycling. Grab some recycling bins and start separating your trash instead of putting it all into one bag for the dump. It takes a couple extra seconds and it can make a major impact on this world.

  • First and foremost, Reduce the amount of single use plastic consumed by your household. If you buy less, large plastic producer will make less and what is not produced doesn’t need recycling and can’t do harm.
  • Get an Eco-Design Water Filter and Reusable Water Bottles instead of single use plastic bottles.

To support Ryan’s recycling initiative, visit Ryans Recycling.

Chantal McCulligh

Chantal McCulligh is an award-nominated, published and top-rated content marketer who has perfected the talent of growing companies through content and social media. She was a blogger before “blogging” was even a thing and she was one of the Top Canadian Youtubers before Youtubing was even a thing. Chantal likes to jump on the trends early on so she can grow with the industry as it expands, and that’s the quality and experience she offers to her clients today through her online programs for aspiring bloggers and entrepreneurs. Chantal is also an active member of the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors and the owner of Anxiety-Gone (the first company to offer subscription box services for anxiety warriors!).


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