Starting a Business As Kids to Finance Entertainment Grows into Something Bigger Than They Thought

The kids started to get into recycling. They were asking the neighbors to save aluminum cans for them. Every week they would make their rounds with a toy wagon I added sides to in order to pick up cans. Sometimes they would have to make two trips. I converted a garden cart into a bigger wagon they could haul around. We do not have a recycling program through our refuse hauler in our town. The kids checked the scrap metal price per pound for aluminum cans after they crushed and saved about 1,800 pounds of them. They got to that weight rather quickly with all of the cans they collected.

Their goal was to be able to buy new bicycles and a gaming console they would earn by making their own money. We agreed to buy them games and accessories if they could pull it off. Well, their efforts yielded a lot of cans in a short period of time. The neighbors had no problem doing their part for recycling either. It’s not like the people in towns that recycle aluminum get any of the profits back either. The kids expanded their collecting of scrap metal to include copper. They got bits of copper pipe and scrap pieces of wire. Some construction guys gave them some aluminum gutters and downspouts and a box of scraps of copper pipe from renovations on an apartment building in the neighborhood. We had to pick that stuff up in our van.

I can see how some people can make this into a business. Our kids were financing their own entertainment and putting money away into savings as well as giving back to the community through charitable donations of a percentage of their income. They were earning enough that we had to claim it on our taxes. The kids were learning business and financial responsibility at an age where their peers are still having everything handed to them.

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