Twelve-year-old triplets Aiden, Bryce, and Cooper, and their two friends Tad, 13, and Desan, 10, have banded together to form the Kaleen Recycle Kids.
They are all eager to help the environment, and recycling containers with the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) means that they can do that while earning some pocket money along the way.
The boys began in their local suburb, Kaleen, letting their neighbours and local businesses know they would collect their empty eligible containers, and offering to pay 5 cents per container. Most people though are more than happy for the boys to have their bottles and cans for free, meaning the kids get to keep the full 10 cent refund.
The boys collect containers on their bikes, with a trailer attached. Their parents sometimes help them collect large container donations from other suburbs.
They take the containers to their local Return-It cash-back depot at Mitchell.
Tad’s mother, Jad Ruzic, says the boys have long been interested in recycling, though this was their first time starting a business.
“The boys are enjoying every minute of it,” she says, adding that the support from the community has been “unbelievable”.
Jad says in the first three weeks the boys collected nearly 15,000 bottles and cans, and in doing so saved two and a half tonnes of recyclable materials from landfill, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1,400kg.
So far, Jad says, the money the boys have made has mostly gone back into the business—purchasing secondhand bike trailers, hi vis vests, gloves and masks. Once business expenses are taken care of, the boys are planning to use some of container refunds for their personal saving goals, either a mountain bike, an electric scooter, or an electric bike.
They are also planning on donating some of their income to support a cerebral palsy charity. Jad says this was the boys’ own idea, and they all agreed on it.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but very rewarding for them—and for us as parents seeing them thrive at such a young age,” says Jad
Interested in fundraising through the ACT CDS? Find out more on our Fundraising page.