While most 7-year-olds barely manage to save a few bucks, Ryan Hickman from Orange County, California has saved a whopping $10,000 by combining his entrepreneurial spirit with his passion for the environment. He is the CEO, manager and employee of his very own small business: Ryan’s Recycling Company.
It all began when a 3 year old Ryan accompanied his dad to a nearby recycling center. The act of putting all the bottles and cans into the machine and getting money for it got him really excited. Not long after his first recycling trip, Ryan decided to start his own business by informing his parents that he wanted to collect, sort and exchange his neighbor’s recyclables.
While his dad was at work, Ryan and his mom went to the homes in their neighborhood distributing plastic bags to the neighbors to collect their glass and plastic bottles as well as cans. Ryan’s business has seen tremendous success and today he oversees an operation that spans close to five neighborhoods, a golf course and multiple local businesses.
Ryan says that his desire to help the planet and protect animals from consuming non-perishable items like plastic drew him to recycling. So far, he has recycled 50,000 pounds of waste, 200,000 cans and bottles and has donated over $1,600 to charity. He has been appointed as Youth Ambassador for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center for his efforts and was recently invited to the Ellen DeGeneres show.
Watch the young entrepreneur in action in the video below.