Ryan's Recycling Company, How a seven year old is turning waste into cash
Meet Ryan, a seven-year-old Youth Ambassador for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Beach, Orange County, California in the USA. In 2012, upon learning of the devastating impact that plastic waste has on the environment, Ryan, with the support of his dad, started Ryan’s recycling company.
Ryan’s passion to make a difference and help alleviate plastic pollution all began after visiting a local recycling centre and cashing in a few dollars for his small plastic bags and bottles. A day after visiting the recycling plant he told his parents that he wanted to give all of his neighbor’s empty plastic bags so that they could save their recyclables for him. Not only did his local neighbors save their plastic waste for him but so too do his friends, family and his parent’s co-workers.
Ryan was recently invited by “Revolution Bike Festival”to be the official recycler at their event. In support of Ryan’s initiative, they purchased fold-up recycling boxes and lined them with plastic bags and put Ryan’s recycling stickers on them. Ryan hit the jackpot at this event! An entire truckload of empty cans, beer bottles and water bottles were collected. Whilst some of us would call this rubbish? To a seven year old, this is cash in his bank account. Ryan cashed in $125 from the ten recycling bags collected at the event.
At the end of December 2016, Ryan’s Recycling reached another huge milestone where their most recent truckload of recyclable waste to taken to the recycling centre, pushing his bank balance to over $10 000! Ryan and his father both acknowledge that the business requires a lot of work but it has really paid off and they can see it in their savings account! They estimate that they have recycled a little over 200,000 cans and bottles in 2016.
Ryan has customers all over Orange County and he has a passion to recycle that we find truly inspiring as The FlipFlopi Team. He sets aside time every week to sort through all the cans and bottles he received from his customers in order to get them ready to take to the recycling centre.
We can ALL learn from Ryan’s example and drastically cut down the amount of plastic pollution that we send to landfills.