Your parents, your teachers, and Sesame Street told you not to litter, and what did you do with that knowledge? Maybe made a little diorama about pollution for a school project? How cute. Ten-year-old Vanis Buckholz’s parents taught him not to litter, too, and he parlayed it into a full-fledged business.
It all started on Earth Day, when the adorable tow-headed Corona Del Mar, Calif., resident was only 7. After learning about recycling in school, Buckholz started to notice that people threw a lot of stuff away. So it occurred to him: Since he had a scooter that he liked to ride, why not ride the scooter around picking up trash? Three years later, he had graduated to a bike, and he even had a catchy name, myReCycler — a play on words that incorporates recycling and bicycling, two great things that Buckholz felt went great together.
This mini-entrepreneur picks up the trash in his bike trailer, but has so much of it that he has to cart it away to the recycling center in a truck. Here’s a video of Buckholz addressing the Newport Beach city council about his business.
Buckholz likes to tell his customers that picking up their glass, cans, newspaper, and other recyclables is “a dirty job, but someone has to do it.” We’d like to add to that, “someone cute.” Oh, and also generous — Buckholz gives 25 percent of his earnings to Project Hope Alliance, an organization that helps homeless youth. What a kid.
10-Year-Old's Recycling Business Hailed by City Leaders, Treehugger.
Get Grist in your inbox