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Youngster Aims to Solve Recycling Problem for Property Managers Nationwide

Solve Recycling Problem
April 2018

With Earth Day approaching (April 22), there is an increasing focus on maximizing waste diversion, which is a growing issue within the rental housing industry.

One reason that apartment residents do not recycle is because they are uncertain about what items are recyclable. When unsure about whether an item can be recycled, 50 percent of Americans say they throw the item away.

“Waste diversion has become a major pain point for our community. Recycling education is the key to growing recycling rates and helping keep our community and our residents green.” —Jana Merical Vice President, Fusion Property Management.

In today’s environment, there is increasing focus on local and state regulatory requirements for recycling, and this is severely impacting the apartment industry. Across the country, many cities have created plans to manage waste and recycling. Nationwide, cities have passed Zero Waste Plans, with milestones starting at 40 percent diversion by 2020, and zero waste by 2040.

Dubbed the “The 7-year old recycler who’s saving the world,” by Ellen DeGeneres, and recognized by CNN as a Young Wonder, Ryan Hickman started his recycling journey in 2012 at age 3, when he visited a local recycling center and cashed in a few small bags of cans and bottles. At that moment, Ryan decided that recycling was his new-found passion.

Today, he travels all over the country with Valet Living to share his passion of recycling with property managers and residents nationwide. Valet Living and Ryan are excited to help bring recycling awareness and education to the residents of multifamily housing.

Ryan and his “Message in a Bottle” tour is scheduled to appear at many more communities this year. At these events, he speaks to residents on the importance of recycling and educates them on the proper ways to separate recyclables.

“I think this is a great event for the community. It really draws people in and it’s fun and educational and Ryan is just a hoot!” —Richelle Angelone Manager, Broadstone on 9th Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Six-year-old Cora Sanchez from Seattle was so affected by meeting Ryan that she went home and started recycling in her community immediately.

“There is only one Earth, just one. It has beautiful oceans, amazing animals, wonderful flowers and trees. So, let’s make the world a better place for [everyone], and we can do that by listening to a wise old soul like Ryan [Hickman]! ”–CNN Young Wonder Special.

Our industry joins in the sentiment of those across the world in thanking Ryan for the difference that he is making for our planet, and are excited to see what the future is for this young man.

"Thanks so much for what you do, you're amazing"—Anderson Cooper, CNN.