Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,

Kings' Courier

Ryan’s Recycling Company

Ryan+Hickman+pictured+with+his+barrels+full+of+recyclables.%0A%28Photo+taken+from+CNN%29
Ryan Hickman pictured with his barrels full of recyclables.
(Photo taken from CNN)

Ryan Hickman pictured with his barrels full of recyclables. (Photo taken from CNN)

Ryan Hickman pictured with his barrels full of recyclables. (Photo taken from CNN)

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Never in a million years would people imagine a 7 year old running his very own business. However, it seems today that nearly anything is possible. Ryan Hickman, a seven year old who lives in California, is currently the CEO, manager and employee of his own company: Ryan’s Recycling Company.

Ryan Hickman found his passion for recycling when he was 3½ years old. He visited the rePlanet recycling center in California and “found his life’s mission.” The next day, Ryan told his father that he planned on picking up all of the bottles and cans from everyone in the neighborhood. About four years later, Ryan found himself running his very own company. His website can be found here.

Ryan currently has about 50 customers working for his company. In addition, he has over 200,000 bottles and cans in his recycling credit. Although Ryan doesn’t remember the exact reason for starting to recycle, he continues to allow his passion to grow each and every day. For example, Ryan’s favorite activity at school is helping the janitor, Mr. Jose, separate the trash and sift through the recyclables. Ryan actually recruited five of his friends to aid himself and Mr. Jose. Ryan’s father Damion emphasizes the fact that the project is “100% Ryan” and how he just provides the transportation to and from the recycling plant. When the piles get large, though, Damion helps Ryan sort out plastics, aluminum, and glass.

According to Damion, Ryan previously saved $11,000 from recycling. After appearing on the “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” the show decided to match Ryan’s savings and bring the total up to $22,000. Damion says that the funds will go towards Ryan’s college tuition, but Ryan has other plans. “Yeah, but I want to buy a truck,” Ryan stated. Ryan wants to buy his own garbage truck someday and continue his passion. However, Damion said he plans to wait until Ryan turns 18 to make his own decision.

Many people both inside and outside of the neighborhood either have Ryan and his father pick up recyclables or they’ll drop the items off at the Hickman’s front door. Although Ryan’s parents love the support from the community, they want to make one thing clear. Damion states, “I try to discourage direct donations, I don’t want people to think we’re trying to make money off the kid. We certainly appreciate it and I realize it makes people feel good…” Despite pointing this out, many people still try to point out errors. Damion adds how he stopped responding to the negativity and began focusing more on the positive impact that Ryan is making.

This goes to show that one can achieve anything he puts his mind to. Something as small as recycling can make a larger impact than one may think. Even though we recycle some things such as paper and cans here at Lewis Cass, we can only imagine how much more of an impact we could make if we took it one step further.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Ryan’s Recycling Company”

  1. Jessica Pinkston on May 2nd, 2017 7:22 am

    It is amazing what can be accomplished when one sets his mind to a task. I hate garbage and liter being around my neighborhood and most of the time the trash is recyclable material. I agree with your final declaration. Perhaps one of the school’s clubs can come up with some system to recycle all the plastic water bottles thrown in the trash for next year and years to come. Great article!

    [Reply]

  2. Matthew on May 11th, 2017 6:48 am

    This article is really neat because it shows how somone so young can affect his community and the world in such big ways and how he thinks about other thing far bigger then himself

    [Reply]

  3. Shayla on May 11th, 2017 8:48 am

    Ryan should be a great example for everybody, no matter what age. The fact that at such a young age he learned how important it is to recycle, shows how easy and simple it really is. The landfills are getting fuller and fuller each year and if the whole world or at least a great portion of it came together, the world would be a much healthier place.

    [Reply]

  4. Brayden Sailors on May 11th, 2017 10:10 am

    I am amazed by the fact that a seven year old has is own company. He is doing a very positive thing for his community and the environment. It just goes to show that if you follow your passion everything works out in a good way. It’s good that he can use the money he raised for his college tuition and I believe we need more people like this kid in the world.

    [Reply]

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Ryan’s Recycling Company