Ryan Hickman

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In 2012 at the age of 3, Ryan went along with his dad to the local recycling center and cashed in a few small bags of cans and bottles and decided that recycling was in his future. The day after going to the recycling center, Ryan notified his mom and dad that he wanted to give empty plastic bags to all the neighbors and maybe they would save their recyclables for him. Not only did the local neighbors save their cans and bottles for Ryan but so did their friends, families and co-workers. Today, Ryan has customers all over Orange County, CA and he has a passion to recycle that is amazing. His goal is to recycle to keep cans and bottles from reaching the ocean where it’s harmful to the environment. Ryan spends a part of every week sorting thru cans and bottles from his customers and getting them ready to take to the recycle center. To date, Ryan has recycled nearly two million cans and bottles.


In 2016, Ryan’s recycling story went viral and ever since he has been featured on web sites, television and radio stations around the planet. He’s a 2017 CNN Young Wonder, he’s appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show, The Pickler & Ben show, Little Big Shots and was interviewed by Maria Menunous on Sirius/XM Radio as well as Ryan Seacrest’s syndicated radio program. He’s a multiple time WE DAY speaker and has been featured on NBC, CNN, CNBC, PBS, FOX News, Amazon Prime’s SELF MADE series, Australia’s Channel 7 Sunrise morning show, Huffington Post, Voice of America, David Wolfe, AJ+, UpWorthy, NOW THIS!, AOL Mini-Moguls, 60 Second Docs, ATTN:, KBS, USA Today, Univision, Good Morning America, The TODAY SHOW, NBC Nightly News and ABC World News. Ryan has been recognized internationally for his recycling efforts and Ryan was awarded the “2017 Citizen of the Year” by his hometown of San Juan Capistrano and he was recognized by the Orange County Register as one of the 100 most influential people of 2017. Ryan was selected in 2018 by MSN in their top 15 kids changing the world, Good Housekeeping in 2019 for their list of 40 kids who have changed the world, Reader’s Digest 2020 List of Kids of the Decade Changing the World and was featured in TIME Magazine for Kids and National Geographic as well as being featured as a WHIZ KID in OC Family Magazine. Ryan is also a 2020 TIME magazine KID OF THE YEAR finalist.


Ryan is also the founder of Project3R, a nonprofit org that focuses on enviromental education and organizes community beach clean up events.

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