Age Doesn’t Matter When It Comes to Recycling with Ryan Hickman

July 9, 2020

Ten year old Ryan Hickman has become an international icon for recycling awareness. He’s been named one of the top 100 Most Influential People of Orange County, California, one of the top ten kids changing the world by MSN, and one of Readers Digest’s Top Kids of the Decade Changing the World. He has been featured in TIME and National Geographic magazines as well as being a guest on The Ellen Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America and many others. Ryan is also a recipient of the CNN Young Wonder Award and the Wyland Foundation’s Ambassador for the Planet Award.

Over the past seven years, Ryan’s recycled nearly a million cans and bottles in an effort to clean up the planet and keep our oceans and landfills cleaner. Ryan organizes monthly beach clean up events in his community and he travels globally speaking about recycling and saving our planet.

John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact! podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy. It is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose an outdated electronic hardware device, please visit eridirect.com.

Welcome to another edition of the impact podcast. I am John Shegerian, and I am so excited to have with us today, Ryan Hickman and his dad Damion Hickman. Welcome to impact, guys.

Damion Hickman: Thank you.

Ryan Hickman: Thanks.

John: You know, Ryan, it is not every day that I get to interview people like you who are as young as you and already been on television, in a major television show with a major television star like Ellen DeGeneres. Can you take us back to why you were invited on Ellen? When you were invited on Ellen and how did that whole thing go?

Ryan: Well, I do not really remember that much what happened, but I just think Ellen saw my story just from the internet and she wanted me on her show and I just think that that is pretty cool that she want me on her show.

John: Do you have fun?

Ryan: Mmm, I have lots of fun.

John: Well, it is. Okay, so let us then get to the story. You are humble to just pass over like that. What story did she hear about that prompted her to have you on the show? What did you do? What had you done and created that made her want to have you on the show?

Ryan: I think that was when I hit ten thousand dollars recycled, right?

Damion: Yes, Ryan’s story went viral in December of 2016 and we had done some videos on Facebook and in a way ended up being about two hundred million views of people watching it.

John: Oh my gosh!

Damion: Yes, it was kind of fun. I mean, you do not really expect things to go viral or I mean kind of be fun if it does, but then when it happens at least for us, I do not know if we were that well prepared. But Ryan got an onslaught of phone calls and emails. He was getting about five thousand emails a day and the phone calls were just crazy. It was like ABC News, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Ellen Show, like urgent back-to-back-to-back about[?] and so we agreed to do the Ellen show and it was pretty cool. Ryan got us on dressing room.

John: Whoa!

Damion: It was pretty cool, huh?

John: I love it. How did it go on the set? What did they give you?

Ryan: She gave me a mini car to drive around and she gave me a big ten thousand dollar check.

John: Holy toledo!

Ryan: The check is probably, you cannot see my hand like–

John: Do you still have a copy of it? Do you still have the check in your house?

Ryan: Uh-uh.

John: Where is it?

Ryan: It is on my wall.

John: It is on your wall, your bedroom?

Ryan: Yes.

John: That is a great inspiration. Now, just for our listeners out there. We have got Ryan Hickman and his dad Damion on with us today. They are going to tell their journey and their story and to find their great company, you can go to ryansrecycling.com. Ryan, where else can they find you on social media, which is so important nowadays?

Ryan: @ryansrecycling on Instagram, Facebook and do not forget Twitter.

John: There you go. There it is for our listeners out there that want to find Ryan and his great work and help him get fought[?] move his generation in his mission forward. Now, for our listeners out there, this is how humble Ryan is, you know, I do not know if I– come on, the impact podcast, if I had won all these awards, listen to these awards that young Ryan has one, the Barron Prize young hero honoree. The Paradigm Challenge award, the IBWA Recycling Champion award, the Sand Cloud Ambassador.

Ryan, we can take this whole show, I got like 20 things on this list here; Reader’s Digest top kids of the decade changing the world list. I mean, Good Housekeeping 40 kids who changed the world list. You are like– you had won more awards than Michael Jordan, how does it feel?

Ryan: It feels good. It makes me feel special.

John: That is so great. I mean that is just– I mean. Do you have brothers and sisters?

Ryan: No. Only me.

John: It is only you, where[?] you are.

Ryan: Only child.

John: My gosh! Because I feel, I would feel sorry. If I was your brother or sister. I do not know how I would be able to– I do not know how I could[?] measure[?] up to you. But that is just incredible. Okay, so you went on Ellen, she gives you the big check, so what were you recycling? What items were you recycling that was the core of your business?

Ryan: I was recycling cans, bottles, and glass.

John: That is what you still do at Ryan’s recycling?

Ryan: Yes.

John: Cans, bottles, and glass, and where do you recycle them from? How do you collect them? What is your business model? How do you best collect these items?

Ryan: People find out about me, they start saving the cans, when they have enough they call us. We come to pick them up, bring them home or we had to look for a recycling center. We bring it home, sort it, then we dragged all the way up to OC recycling in Santa Ana.

John: Wow! Is business growing since Ellen? Do you get more and more people requesting pickups? Is that growing year over year?

Ryan: Yes. Before I was on Ellen, I have less than a hundred customers, right?

Damion: Yes, I think so.

Ryan: Maybe like a hundred. Now, about five hundred.

John: You have about five hundred clients?

Ryan: Uh-mm.

John: I mean, I think I have got to bring you to my company and teach sales to my sales people. I do not have five hundred clients. You have five hundred clients, that is incredible. Now, Damion, what is the radius of how far you guys go to pick up these items? I know you live in Southern California. Is it five miles from your house? Is it ten miles? What is the longest you guys have to travel?

Damion: You know, we live in the bottom of Orange County so we pretty much go all of Orange County. I would say it is probably a 40-mile radius.

John: 40-mile radius?

Damion: Yeah, and you know, I mean almost of the majority of Ryan’s customers are within a 5-mile radius from where we live. But–

Ryan: Some on Tustin Santa Ana.

Damion: But, you know, we do go, we pick up farther and we try to group them together. So it is a little more convenient for us. So we are not, you know, spending everything in gas, money.

John: That is great. Is it once a week you guys go out on the journey or is it twice a week?

Damion: We go pretty much every Saturday, but you know, to be honest even with the whole COVID stuff going on lately, people are still recycling and they have been holding it for longer. Now, we will go to somebody’s house that normally has like one garbage bag or two and you know, they got six. It has actually been increased recycling rates. So we are happy people are still recycling–

Ryan: Because everybody is home. They are drinking more stuff, it is like at the office one is throwing it away. At home, they were saving it for me.

Damion: So it has been pretty good keeping us pretty busy and we have been going to the recycling center two or three times a week last two months’ time. So, pretty busy.

Ryan: I think yes. Yes, that seems about right.

John: Wow! That is fascinating. You know, people constantly want to know– that is a great point that you both made about this whole COVID-19 tragedy, so you are saying– because as Ryan just said people are more home they are drinking more things at home, and like Dad said when from a couple of bags to maybe six bags or five bags. So your recycling business specifically is booming since this– wow. So you have taken– [inaudible]. He has given the hallelujah sign here for our listeners who get it hard[?]. I cannot see it, but it is awesome. I mean– that is great. People have not forgotten the importance of the environment and taking care of the planet during even what is a tragic and very difficult period, to say the least, this COVID-19 period, you are saying they are still thinking about the planet, still thinking about being good stewards and environmentalist and you are still getting a lot of product if not more than ever before?

Damion: Yeah, I think so.

Ryan: Uh-huh.

John: That is awesome.

Damion: The pretty inspirational for our whole family is the amount of messages and emails and stuff that Ryan gets on a daily basis from social media and stuff. He gets hundreds of emails and messages from all over the world every day. Other countries seeing videos of him or seeing him on TV or stuff recycling. It is crazy, the amount of messages that he gets from people saying that they recycle now because they saw him do it and I mean we are talking Pakistan, India, Africa and I mean everywhere.

John: So you have friends all over the world, Ryan?

Damion: I should say, even though they are not recycling directly with Ryan? He is impacted[?]. You know, recycling in India, for example.

John: Well, honestly, Damion, that is why I saw Ryan’s story and said, that is why we want to have them on because your story is making an impact. It is making an impact not only on your community within a 40-mile radius like just say where you guys live. But it is worldwide because of social media, now the information being democratized you are making an impact around the world.

Damion: Yep.

Ryan: Uh-huh.

John: Wow! Incredible. Wait a second, Ryan what grade are you in, by the way? I just want to know.

Ryan: Fifth. I am going to go into sixth [inaudible] two weeks for me.

John: In two weeks?

Ryan: Some reason[?] about two weeks. So it speeds[?] in sixth grade soon.

John: Wow, so fifth grade you finished during this coronavirus period. You finish fifth grade at home on home studies, I take it? How do you like that?

Ryan: Good. I like my mom being my teacher.

John: Mom is a teacher?

Ryan: She is the best teacher ever.

John: Your mon is the best teacher ever.

Ryan: Uh-mm.

John: You know, I have some employees that tell me that when they go home, their kids tell them that they need to be better teachers. So that is nice to hear that mom is a great teacher, the best teacher ever.

Ryan: Uh-mm, same with dad.

John: Dad is a great teacher too, right?

Ryan: Uh-huh.

John: Wait a second. Now, I want understand where this came from. You know, it is always fun Ryan learning about people’s backgrounds. Dad is from Colorado, you grew up in Orange County. So was dad’s family or mom’s family environmentalist before? Is that how you got the bug to be such a–, you know, to be our Greta Thunberg of the United States? That is really what you are. I mean, how did you get that bug? Where did you get that bug from? Was it in your DNA or did you read a book on recycling? How did this happen?

Ryan: Well, this dude right here, my dad, he took me to the local recycling center when I was three with two bags for recycling. I just loved it at the center. It was so fun. I just wanted to keep recycling, and recycling, and recycling.

John: You are the king of recycling. What business you on, Damion?

Damion: I am a graphic designer. I am lucky that I am self-employed. So, I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule to help Ryan do some of the stuff.

John: That is great.

Damion: We both are lucky to have that scenario.

John: Right. This is a great partnership, then huh. So Ryan, you are the president of Ryan’s recycling, right?

Ryan: Yes.

John: Does mom work at Ryan’s recycling also besides being your professor and teacher?

Ryan: Sometimes she is more of my– she does my laundry, helped make my bed, helps do the dishes.

John: So she helps take care of the president?

Ryan: She helps take care of Ryan’s recycling.

John: Okay. Got it. That makes sense. Since you are Ryan’s recycling, she is helping taking care of you. I got it. All right. We got the picture here. So you recycle bottles and cans primarily, right?

Ryan: and glass.

John: and glass. When you say glass, what do you mean by glass? Outside the bottles?

Ryan: Beer bottles, like soda glass bottles.

John: Okay. So anything that people drink liquid at them. A beer–

Ryan: Wine bottles,

John: Wine bottles too. Wow!

Ryan: I even recycle some jars.

John: Some jars?

Ryan: Uh-huh. Glass jars.

John: Got you. Remind me who gets all the– when you are finished collecting and you are dropping off to the recycler now, who is getting all those materials?

Ryan: OC recycling.

John: Who is the owner of OC recycling that you deal with?

Ryan: Well, he has the same name as me, Ryan.

John: He is off. So this is a whole Ryan conspiracy in recycling. Recycling starts with an R and two Ryans start with an R. I see how this is going here. This is a whole R thing that is, I see how this is. Wow! Okay, and for our listeners who just joined us. We are so excited to have with us today, Ryan Hickman and his father Damion Hickman. You can find their great work and you could message them either at their website, ryansrecycling.com or Ryan tell our listeners where they can find you on social media.

Ryan: Instagram, Facebook and do not forget Twitter @ryansrecycling.

John: So, Ryan you are 10 years old?

Ryan: Yes.

John: I always like asking people that are much younger than me. What is your favorite brand or flavor? Let us say in social media, do you like Instagram the most, Facebook the most, Twiter the most? What do you like communicating with all of your followers or inspired by you the most?

Ryan: Well, we do not do a lot of Twitter but we do some Twitter. So Twitter is not really my favorite.

John: Okay.

Ryan: I think either Instagram or Facebook.

John: Okay. Well, I am going to start following you today. After the show, I am going to start following you on Instagram.

Ryan: Alright.

John: I will be looking out for you there. Okay?

Ryan: Thanks.

John: Sure, of course. So dad is a graphic designer. I worked with graphic designers my whole life, you know, I grew up in the printing business. My dad was a printer. So I work out to work with designers my whole life. So I understand dad has designed some very cool T-shirts for your website on ryansrecycling.com. Is this true?

Ryan: Uh-huh. I do not have any on right now. I am actually on one of my dad’s shoes[?] design, but I would be wearing one of mine. It says Ryan’s recycling on it, and with crumpled up can on it.

Damion: I think you just[?] got[?] a website.

Ryan: If you guys go to my website at www. ryansrecycling.com you can find my shirts and my hats there.

John: Very cool. So talk about your shirts and your hats, and I am going to buy some today. I am buying some today. When we are done with this podcast, I am buying some. So tell me what happens with the proceeds when you buy T-shirts and hats from Ryan’s recycling.

Ryan: Well, all the money goes to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, California.

John: What is that?

Ryan: They rescue seals and sea lions, elephant seals, harbor seals, northern fur seals that are sick or injured, and keep them till the battle[?].

John: How did you choose that organization? You could give your money anywhere. I mean, some people just keep the money. How did you decide: a) to donate it, and b) why did you choose that organization? I am fascinated by that.

Ryan: I do not quite remember when, I am pretty sure it is because I just like the organization and I just wanted to donate, though.

John: Wow!

Ryan: But then I just kept donating and donating.

John: So on any given week, like give me a number, how many T-shirts and hats you sell on an average week? You do not have to tell me your biggest or your smallest week. Just give me the average.

Ryan: Maybe like once a month.

Damion: No something like that.

John: Okay.

Ryan: Maybe like three times a month, maybe.

Damion: It goes in waves usually when Ryan has a TV appearance or something, we do a bunch, you know, and we had some fun things where Ryan has been on some TV shows and the whatever show he was on, you know, they bought T-shirts for everybody in the audience to help support the Marine Center. A lot of times Ryan gives speeches at schools or videos to schools and like the whole classroom, parts, or the whole classroom or whole grade will buy the T-shirts and stuff. So it is pretty fun.

John: Very cool. That is really cool Ryan. So obviously I am going to have to get– I am going to go on, I am going to– yeah, is it only one type of T-shirt or is it one design or many designs.

Ryan: There are kids, men’s, ladies. [Inaudible]

Damion: So Ryan, I think we are all out[?] of white.

Ryan: Yes.

Damion: So Ryan has his normal branding, his logos, shirts, and hats. We also have a partnership for Ryan with a company called Sand Cloud. We have known them for a number of years there in San Diego. They make very environmentally friendly Beach-type products, like a lot of T-shirts, beach towels, blah blah, and really great people. Ryan got a partnership with them where we came up with a shirt. We called it “make the sea trash free”. Proceeds of that particular shirt go to help a couple of different organizations through them to help with ocean clean ups and those shirts are made out of recycled water bottles. So how many bottles for each? Like eight bottles per shirt, right?

Ryan: Yes. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco–

John: Is that also on your website? Those shirts as well?

Damion: Yes.

John: Great. Okay. So there is more than one design on your website.

Damion: Yes, and we got a bunch more– so yeah, we got more stuff coming.

Ryan: and there are multiple colors that–

John: What is your favorite color, Ryan?

Ryan: My favorite color is green.

John: Oh you are my kind of guy. Our motto here in our company is “green is good.” It is a pretty cool color, green is good.

Ryan: Uh-huh.

John: Wait a second now, I would assume a young man like you with all these awards here, I mean look at all these– I mean like I cannot– Ryan these take all day for me to read all these awards. I mean you are quite an incredible young man including top hundred most influential people of Orange County. I mean, my gosh! Millions of people live in Orange County. You are top one hundred influential.

Ryan: Uh-mm

John: All right, I am glad I know you now. So wait a second now, I would assume someone like you with the best teacher in the world. It is probably pulling straight A’s in school. Is that true?

Ryan: Yeah.

John: Yeah, pretty much. I figured that. Yeah after this– I mean if I was your brother or sister, I have to be prepared. I mean like you are killing it in business. You are killing it your key[?]. You are helping the environment, you are saving the seals. You have won about a hundred rewards or so and you are a straight A student. I do not know, you live another[?] for the competition, Ryan. There is just nothing left for us. What do you do? How many hours a week do you think that you spend on Ryan’s recycling beside your schoolwork and other things that you do in life? How many hours a week if you were to guess?

Ryan: It depends on how many people call us a week.

John: Okay.

Ryan: Usually about ten hours.

John: Ten hours.

Ryan: If we are going to pretty busy maybe fifteen hours.

John: That is a lot of hours for a young man. That is a lot of hours. You get emails in, people email you and they social media you and they actually call you too for pickups.

Ryan: Uh-huh, yes.

John: Wow! That is interesting. That is just so interesting. So outside of work and school, what is your funnest thing that you do? Like, are you a sports guy? You watch basketball or football or baseball or you are a video guy and do video games? What do you do for fun?

Ryan: Well, I do not play video games. I am not that much into sports, but I do collect coins.

John: What? You collect coins?

Ryan: Uh-huh, I collect coins.

John: That is so interesting. When I was a young guy, I did too. But I mean, tell me what kind of coins or like the hot coins you collect and what gets you most excited about collecting coins?

Ryan: Just getting like old coins, my three most oldest coins. Actually, no four most oldest coins, 1799 British coin.

John: Whoa. Wow!

Ryan: and 1820 US penny.

John: A copper penny from 1820.

Ryan: Uh-huh. It is about the size of a half-dollar.

John: Really?

Ryan: Uh-huh.

John: Wait a second. Have you and mom and dad ever been to the US Mint back in Washington DC? Have you been to where they make the money and seen that yet?

Damion: Yes.

Ryan: Yes.

Damion: We went to the– what is that– the treasury building.

Ryan: The printing place where they print the bills.

Damion: Yeah, we did. We went there last time Ryan had a speaking engagement in Washington DC. So we got to go to that building. It was pretty cool.

John: Wow, so okay. How was that? Was that fun?

Ryan: Yeah.

Damion: It was funner.

John: Wow, so you collect coins. So how many coins do you think right now are in your collection?

Damion: Oh boy, you know what[?].

Ryan: If I would say, I guess– I would probably say about ten thousand/fifteen thousand.

Damion: Yes you got a lot.

John: Wait a second. When you have that many coins part of your collection, I know you study coins, then do you have one like this your grand prize coin that you are trying to one day trade for collect, that you really would like to have part of your collection?

Ryan: Yes. Two coins actually. I think it is a 19– actually three coins, 1912 Liberty Head V Nickel and a 1913 Liberty Head V Nickel, those are only five known of those and then a 1909 VDB Wheat Penny. I mean 1909-S VDB. Those are somebody’s initials.

John: Okay. So–

Ryan: That is pretty rare.

John: How are you going to?– Like what do you do then? Do you email with other collectors and try to do trades or do you go to shows and you try to find them? How does this whole thing work? How do you find your next diamond, you know, like hot coin? Like a coin that you are excited about that you are trying to get. How do you find them?

Ryan: About every three months? There is a Coin Show in Long Beach, California. We usually go to it. The last one we went to I think that was in February. Yes, we went to it and we got some old coins and that is usually where I go to get my coins.

John: So it is at the convention center in Long Beach.

Ryan: Yes, Long Beach convention.

John: You go with mom and dad?

Ryan: Just this dude, my Dad.

John: Just dad, okay. There are lots of folks there that you know like you already know.

Ryan: Yes.

John: They know you and you know them?

Ryan: Uh-mm. I think we know quite a few people there.

John: Really? No kidding.

Ryan: Like six people, though.

John: You just said something interesting. So you went to the treasury where they print the bills in DC when you had a speaking event. Talk about speaking events, you know a famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld, you know who that is, right? Ever heard of him?

Ryan: No.

John: Okay, there is a famous guy named Jerry Seinfeld and he has a joke about public speaking and he said “more people are afraid of public speaking more than dying.” So in other words more people are afraid of public speaking more than they are of dying, Ryan. So do you Ryan Hickman, do you get afraid? Are you afraid of public speaking? Do you get nervous when you go to speak? or–

Ryan: No.

John: You are ready to roll?

Ryan: It is the opposite. I am more afraid of dying than speaking.

John: Well, yeah I am with you, by the way. Hey, by the way, I am with you. How about your side of that equation? I do not think Jerry Seinfeld is right for either of us. But I mean I am with you. I am more afraid of dying than speaking, it is fun.

Ryan: Yes.

John: That is the real statistic. I have looked it up. He is right. That is true statistics. So talk a little bit about– and that he used that in a joke, but he made a whole joke of the whole thing. So talk a little bit about when your public speaking whether it is five people are going on Ellen or any other television show, do you get nervous, you get excited? What do you do? What is your preparation?

Ryan: I do not really– like of course, I get excited. I do not get nervous but I get butterflies in my tummy because I am so excited. I do not get nervous at all.

John: Really?

Damion: Ryan had– when he was on The Ellen Show, that was kind of the first time that we were going to see how he did in the audience and my wife and I were sitting in the audience and are way more nervous because we do not know what he is going to say. For those of you that watch The Ellen episode, you can see it on YouTube or EllenTube or on Ryan’s site. He throws my wife under the bus and he got a really good crowd responds, and so it was– but Ryan has been a speaker at different events with around the world actually with [Inaudible] spoke at the Los Angeles Forum in front of twenty-five thousand people, so some pretty big audiences that– he kills it– I mean, he is not afraid.

Ryan: The biggest audience I have spoke in front of is twenty-five thousand people in Vancouver Canada.

John: What twenty-five thousand people? From my generation, you know, we call that– that is a rockstar crowd. You are like rock-star popular. Where was that?

Damion: Rogers Arena.

Ryan: Rogers Arena, it is a hockey stadium.

John: So you walked in on to the stage and you saw everybody out there.

Ryan: All the seats were filled.

Damian: All the seats were filled when we took him to the Forum to speak. It was pretty cool to be backstage. You can see like a lot of the artists had autograph stuff on the walls and stuff and it was pretty cool to see where the Rolling Stones signs out, you know, Guns and Roses, you know I mean it is like “wow! That is YouTube”, you know, so it is pretty cool.

John: It is pretty cool to be in that company. Those are some rock bands that your dad just mentioned that, you know, part of our generation, my generation for sure. So you are in pretty good company. Like I said, rock star status.

Damion: I will tell you at that particular event, it was pretty cool for us too because Ryan had the chance to meet a lot of celebrities that were speaking at that event and Ryan does not know who they were because he does not watch a lot of TV that they would be in. My wife and I knew who they were, but you know, he met a ton and it was really cool. We got to chitchat when Henry Winkler came up and he gave Ryan a kind of inspirational speech. I told Ryan “hey”, you know Ryan was eight at the time and I had to tell Ryan when I was eight years old that guy was, [Inaudible] the coolest guy on TV. I have a lunch box with that guy, and Ryan is like what is a lunch box, you know. It has been pretty cool with some of those things and Ryan is taking over LeBron James Instagram page for a day.

John: What–?

Damion: He has got shoutouts online from tons of, you know, Chelsea Clinton and George Takei and I mean an endless list. It is pretty cool to see people all over the world, even famous people care about the environment.

John: I think you are the most famous person I have been interviewing. Because I do not know anybody else who is famous like you Ryan. That has been on television, medal of these stars, and is doing so much for the recycling movement, my gosh. Ryan as you said, you are getting messages from around the world, Pakistan, India, all around the world. You are making an impact that goes way beyond Orange County and share some words of inspiration. How do we get more Ryan Hickman’s? How do we get more young people less interested in Xbox or other other things out there and more interested in the environment or making an impact like you are making?

Ryan: Maybe everybody could just make a little or just pick up a few piece of trash. The parents could take them to look recycling center if they have one near them. The kids may think it is fun and they might want to start doing what I am doing.

John: That is awesome. So just a little baby steps first and then that can lead to bigger things in the future

Ryan: Yes. I only took two bags to the center and look at me now. I recycled almost a million cans and bottles. By December, I will be able to hit a million.

John: A million? Unbelievable. You know Ryan, there is a lot of people out there that want to do what you are doing. Is it that hard to start a business like you had started? You know, you are killing the site[?]. You are the president, you run this business with your dad and mom has helped, but I mean being an entrepreneur, what do you feel about that?

Ryan: I feel it is very cool being in my own– not my own, an entrepreneur.

John: Do you like that.

Ryan: Uh-mm. If you ask what is good to be having my own business.

John: That is the American dream. You know, I know this could change, you are still very young and this changes all the time for a lot of young people. But if I were to ask you today when you are 25, when you get out of college or grad school or whatever you do, what is your goal? What do you want to do as an adult? Do you have any thoughts yet, or are you too young to think about that, yet? In terms of what profession you want to go into later on in life? You just want to keep growing Ryan’s recycling and become the largest recycling mogul in the world in and take over?

Ryan: Yes.

John: That is the goal?

Ryan: Yes. You said it.

John: That is a good goal, by the way.

Ryan: Ryan’s recycling.

John: That is a great goal. Do you have any last thoughts before we have to sign off for today or do you have any other things you want to promote or any special thoughts that you want to share with our listeners?

Damion: He does have– we are going to be launching within the next couple of months. Ryan’s got a nonprofit organization that we are launching called project 3R, and it will be geared towards recycling awareness and education worldwide. Like I said earlier with all the emails that Ryan gets from around the world, a lot of places do not have a recycling center and so us being able to provide them with information and Ryan being kind of the face of that. Hopefully, get recycling centers established and just the ability to help other countries and other cities make recycling a part of their mainstream activities.

John: How does that nonprofit will get funded? Would it be from the proceeds from the hats and T-shirts or some other mechanism, Damion?

Damion: It will not be from the hats and T-shirts. We have got a lot of support organizations that are ready to help fund it, you know Ryan’s part of his speaking engagement monthly, and part of different funding avenues will all go into that. It is going to be kind of a hit miss. You know, it is kind of a new thing for us. So we are going to be kind of learning as we go along too but we are going to start out a little small and then hopefully grow it.

John: Awesome. Well, I want you to come back on the show Damion and Ryan and talk about once you launch that how it is doing and we could promote that further once it is launched and you could give us an update once you hit the million bottles and cans you could give us an update on hitting that goal, and just generally just check-in. How is that sound?

Ryan: Yes, that sounds good.

John: We love to have you back. Also, as I promised before we went on the air, once we get through and beyond on the safer on the other side of this coronavirus tragedy that we are all living through. I would love to invite you and your mom and your dad to come up to our recycling facility here in Fresno and be our guest so you could see the largest electronic waste recycling plant in the world.

Ryan: Okay.

Damion: That sounds cool.

John: So then when I want to retire, you could take over this business and you could run this under the Ryan’s recycling business and you can basically control the recycling in the United States at that point. How is that sound?

Ryan: Good.

John: Well, I am gonna buy some hats and T-shirts today and for our listeners to find Ryan, to find Damion, to find all the great and important work that they are doing, making an impact and making the world a better place, you could go to ryansrecycling.com. Buy some hats, buy some T-shirts. Ryan where else can they find you?

Ryan: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @ryansrecycling.

John: Ryan and Damion, it has been an absolute pleasure having you both on today. You are both inspirational. You are making an important impact. I cannot wait to have you back on the show again and continued health and success and I cannot wait to meet you in person. Good luck.

Ryan: Thanks.

Damion: Yeah. Thank you so much.

Ryan: Bye.