10-Year-Old’s Recycling Business Hailed by City Leaders

Written by Stephen Messenger

At an age when most youngsters are just beginning to get acquainted with the world they’ve inherited, 10-year-old Vanis Buckholz was already thinking of ways he could help make it a better one for others — and grown-ups have taken notice.

After learning about the importance of recycling on Earth Day at his elementary school a few years back, Vanis began to to notice how much reusable stuff people were throwing away every day, and decided to try to make a difference. So, at the ripe young age of 7, he became one of the nation’s youngest eco-entrepreneurs, launching his very own recycling business to serve his hometown of Corona del Mar, California — thus, “My ReCycler” was born.

“The idea for my business name came from ‘cycling’ and riding my scooter around town picking up trash on our beach, streets and parks then hauling it home to recycle,” says Vanis. “My mom and dad taught me to never pollute so picking up trash was something we always did but now it’s a part of the business.”

After three years in business, My ReCycler has expanded with the help of his family, friends, and folks from throughout the region — and a trailer attached to his bike to collect his customer’s recyclables. In fact, that nowadays his trips to the recycling center are by the truckload.

But if all that wasn’t remarkable enough for such an ambitious youngster, Vanis then decided to donate a portion of the recycling profits Project Hope Alliance, an organization that provides outreach to homeless and underprivileged kids.

Itís so easy to do nothing. But itís really good to do something! I always tell my new customers that ďevery little bit mattersĒ. Even ONE bottle helps. I love my job. Iím a very lucky kid but thereís a lot of kids who donít have much luck.

“Project Hope Alliance is both amazed and humbled by the contributions and support given by Vanis to our organization,” says Executive Director Jennifer Friend. “With his support we are educating and empowering homeless children in Orange County to end the cycle of poverty. Thank you Vanis for being a shining example of hope in action”

Vanis recently spoke before city council meeting, where he was lauded by Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry: “Newport Beach is the home of some great entrepreneurs. The one tonight is particularly young, but I think is a very outstanding entrepreneur.”

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Nichola Mac Donough
Nichola Mac D4 years ago

Wow Vanis, well done, really...I am in awe of you...!

ANA MARIJA R5 years ago

copy&paste Christeen A.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Congratulations! Looking forward to what the next generation comes up with to help our planet, our animals and humans in general.

Victoria McFarlane
Past Member 5 years ago

Amazing. Thanks.

rene davis
irene davis5 years ago

Great kid & even greater parents- Thank you!

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

What a great kid!

Doug G.
Doug G5 years ago

Of the three R's, reduce, reuse, recycle, only the first has the true potential to ensure intact ecosystems and an otherwise healthier planet. The other two occur after the damage has already been done, ie, trees cut, fossil fuel expended and chemicals put into the environment.
It is also the hardest to do for a population so use to consuming and who has based its economic paradigm on that unsustainable act of consumption on a finite planet.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley5 years ago

Well done, Vanis.

rene davis
irene davis5 years ago


Autumn S.
Autumn S5 years ago

Vanis is a caring kid, it is wonderful to see such action at such a young age, youth is our hope