This 7 Year Old Already Runs A Recycling Business, And It's Thriving

Diply 2 May 2017

When he was just three and a half years old, Ryan Hickman's dad, Damion, took him to the recycling center near their home in California to cash in some cans and bottles. It proved to be a fateful visit, because the next day Ryan decided his future was in recycling. He visited his neighbors, collecting their recyclables and returning them. Four years later, he has stuck with it and grown recycling into a full-blown enterprise.

There can't be many seven year olds who have 50 customers to look after, but Ryan's passion won't be denied. 

Facebook | Ryan Hickman

When most kids are outside playing after school, Ryan is helping the school's janitor sort the recycling. Or he's picking up recycling from the neighbors, or from local businesses.

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It's not about the money for Ryan, however. "It's because bottles get to the ocean and then animals get sick and die," he told CNN.

Facebook | Ryan Hickman

In fact, Ryan has a passion for marine life. One of his favorite places to visit is the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

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The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a pretty big fan of Ryan, too. In addition to the recycling, Ryan makes branded T-shirts and donates the proceeds to the center.

Facebook | Ryan Hickman

So far, he has raised more than $3,700 from his shirts.

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Damion stresses that the business is all about Ryan and his passion, although he does the driving. "My wife and I support him doing it and we told him that whenever he wants to stop, he can," he says.

Facebook | Ryan Hickman

"I want to see him with friends but the recycling just makes him happy."

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