In our latest episode of Waste360’s NothingWasted! Podcast, we chat with 9-year-old Ryan Hickman, CEO of Ryan’s Recycling. We spoke about how $5 from his first trip to a recycling facility turned into a huge passion, how his family helps with his business, his successful beach cleanups and how this work helps him master math and geography.
Here’s a sneak peek into our chat with this inspiring young entrepreneur.
Waste360: Can you share how many cans and bottles you’ve recycled so far?
Ryan Hickman: I’ve recycled more than half a million cans and bottles.
Waste360: How does your family help you with your business?
Ryan Hickman: My dad will usually drive me to pick up the cans and do the heavy lifting. And my grandma and mom help sort, too.
Waste360: You donate to a marine mammal center, is that right?
Ryan Hickman: Yes, I donate all the money from my t-shirts to Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach—so far almost $9,000. With the money, they buy new equipment, food and medicine, lights, that type of thing. And when they use it to buy fish, $1 equals 1 pound of fish to feed the seals and sea lions.
Waste360: What do you want to be when you grow up—do you want to stay in this industry?
Ryan Hickman: Yes, probably just recycling and recycling and recycling! Maybe 100 million cans and bottles.
We have no doubt he will do just that.