Everyone is freaking out over this 7-year-old who recycled his way to $21,000

If you’re looking for your daily dose of inadequacy, there’s a 7-year-old who recycled his way to $21,000. Yep, he’s not even 10 and he’s collected more money than most of us have ever seen. His name is Ryan Hickman, and he started his own “company,” called Ryan’s Recycling Company. This adorable little entrepreneur basically drives around his neighborhood on one of those tiny cars and collects recycling from friends and neighbors.

In all, he’s recycled about 200,000 cans and bottles and recycled them for more than many of us make in a year: $21,000. TWENTY. ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. Yeah, we’re rethinking our careers, too.

The best part about this whole enterprise is definitely what Ryan’s ultimate goal for his proceeds is. As he states in the video, his parents want him to save the money for college — and we definitely think they’re wise to tell him that, given the state of student loans in this country — but Ryan has other plans.


Is that the cutest thing you’ve ever heard, or the cutest thing you’ve ever heard?

In addition to making some serious money, Ryan’s endeavors obviously have an environmental payoff — he’s keeping plastics and other non-biodegradable materials out of oceans and landfills. He thinks more young people like him should get into recycling, and like, we’re definitely thinking about it.

We also love that he says in the video that starting your own business isn’t that hard. A lot of things like that seem almost impossibly large to accomplish when you think about them, but as Ryan proves, you can make anything happen if you just do it, even if you’re young and inexperienced.

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