Ryan Hickman in Orange Country began recycling when he was just 3 1/2 years old. Now he has saved whopping $10,000 for college with his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the environment to start his own recycling business

“We had gone to the center with a couple of bags, and he really loved the actual act of putting all the cans and bottles into the machine and getting the money for it, and that kind of got him hooked,” described Damion Hickman, Ryan’s father.

The then-toddler enlisted the help of friends and family and has since started his own business, Ryan’s Recycling.

“I’ve recycled 200,000 cans and bottles,” Ryan said.

Every week, he and his family sort through bags of recyclables.

“If it’s me, my dad and my mom and my grandma doing it at the same time, one bag will be gone like in, let’s say, two minutes,” Ryan said.

Ryan saved more than $10,000 for college. He also sells T-shirts on his website and donates the proceeds to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

“For the sea lions to get food and medicine,” he said.

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