California Boy Makes Extra Green by Going Green
The 7-year-old has saved over $10,000 for college after starting his own recycling business.
A California boy is taking his future college loans to the curb. The 7-year-old has already saved more than $10,000 toward his education, after starting his own recycling business in 2012.
Ryan Hickman discovered his passion for recycling after visiting the local recycling plant with his dad, Damion Hickman, according to Ryan’s website, Ryan’s Recycling.
"We had gone to the center with a couple of bags, and he really loved the actual act of putting all the cans and bottles into the machine and getting the money for it, and that kind of got him hooked," Damion told ABC 7.
With the help of his mom, Andrea Hickman, the then-3-year-old began collecting glass, plastic and cans from residents in their Orange County neighborhood, according to Ryan’s website.
Ryan is a young but dedicated entrepreneur. He spends time each week sorting through cans and bottles, prepping them for the recycling center.
“If it's me, my dad and my mom and my grandma doing it at the same time, one bag will be gone like in, let's say, two minutes," Ryan told ABC 7. Then — with a little more help from his parents — Ryan takes the goods to their local recycling center where the cans are bottles are unloaded, sorted and weighed.
Aside from saving for school, Ryan wants to keep trash out of ocean waters. In addition to saving the planet can by can, he sells t-shirts on his website to raise money for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California.
"That's a big deal to Ryan, that the cans and bottles don't end up in the ocean," his father told ABC 7.
His efforts have paid off. To date, Ryan has recycled more than 200,000 bottles and cans, ABC 7 reported.
"If you already recycle, just keep on recycling. If you don't recycle, start recycling," Ryan said.
What a sweet kid.