11-Year-Old on a Mission to Save the Planet

Most little kids don’t give recycling much thought starting as young as 3 years old. Ryan Hickman isn’t like most kids. Ryan is on a mission to save the planet. “In 2012, at the age of 3, Ryan went along with his father to the local recycling center and cashed in a few small bags on cans and bottles.” There was no looking back after that day.

After that, young Ryan started collecting friends, family and neighbors’ recyclables, sorting them every week to prepare them for the recycling center. Then, Ryan’s Recycling was founded and 8 years later, he has recycled 987,000 plastic, glass and aluminum cans and bottles. He even donated close to $12,000 to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which rehabilitates injured seals and sea lions. 

A National Geographic article published January of 2015 stated

There is 5.25 Trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean and counting. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some 4 billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.” 

Ryan made national headlines and went on to earn multiple awards for his efforts, including the CNN’s Young Wonder Award. The tiny hero caught the attention of Ryan and Jeremy Black, the founders of Sambazon. “Sambazon is a company that produces ethically-sourced açaí products and helps preserve millions of acres of the Amazon Rainforest through their fair trade agreement.” Naturally, when they got ahold of Ryan’s mission and his goal to recycle 1 million cans, they wanted to join in on the cause. To help Ryan reach his goal of 1 million, Sambazon chipped in 93,000 cans of their Amazon Acai Energy Drink.

There’s no telling how far young Ryan will go but we know he’s just getting started. If this one dedicated 11-year-old can make such a big impact, why can’t you? A&W Iron & Metal, Inc is here to support the community as a whole while encouraging those like Ryan to make a difference. Everyone should do their part. Visit us today – your LOCAL, TRUSTED RECYCLER. To learn more about Ryan and his hard work, check out ryansrecycling.com.   

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