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December 2022

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Ryan featured by Caterpillar, Inc. “Keeping Plastic Out of the Ocean with 13-year-old Ryan Hickman”

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If you appreciate the great outdoors and everything in it, you’ll appreciate the Herculean efforts of Ryan Hickman, who has gone viral for his mission to protect the planet by recycling cans and bottles. Among many other awards, Ryan was named one of the “40 Kids Who Have Changed the World ” by Good Housekeeping Magazine in 2019 and 2020.

Ryan recently hung out with us at the 2022 Cat® WasteExpo booth, where we spoke to him about ways to recycle and clean up the environment. During his visit to our booth, Ryan also got to remotely operate a Cat excavator—not to mention stand in the wheel of a giant Cat machine being used to help reduce landfill space across the planet.

Something clicked in Ryan Hickman when he was three. After going with his dad to a recycling center to drop off empty cans and bottles, he knew he had found his thing.

“I loved it,” he says, “and I just wanted to keep doing it because it was helping the environment and just so much fun.”

The next day, Ryan told his parents that he wanted to collect recyclables from their neighbors. Not only did he do that, but he also started collecting cans and bottles from his friends, family, and even his parents’ coworkers. He was hooked!

Ryan is passionate about keeping plastic bottles out of the ocean. For a good reason…