The Sherman family is making recycling easier for communities that lack access to recycling resources that big cities have.
Jake Sherman and his family used to place their recyclables in the back of his pickup truck and take them to the nearest recycling dumpster or center. This sparked the idea for Jake – what if he could teach his children, Sydney and Seth, about responsibility and entrepreneurism while helping his community? Thus, Owasso Green Teens Curbside Recycling was created.
Jake states that people aren’t recycling because of the difficulties small communities face, “not because they don’t believe in [recycling].” As a Navy veteran, Jake learned the concept of responsibility and consequences, and that rather than saying “I need to get this done,” it is better to “just do it.”
Jake’s business is unique in that his children make all the money, while he manages the business simply as a way to spend more time with his family. He’s faced obstacles with having a family-owned business, such as managing his employees – who happen to be his teenage children. Another obstacle is educating the community on what is or is not recyclable. Items such as pizza boxes, furniture, and plastic bags are all non-recyclable, as they can be contaminated by food or are simply too bulky to be disposed of at a traditional recycling center. However, Owasso Green Teens Curbside Recycling does collect plastic bags for reuse. They donate the bags to the Owasso Community Resources Food Bank, which uses the bags to hand out food.
Additionally, having this business is helping in tremendous ways. The responsibility of running a company is teaching the children valuable lessons about budgeting, saving and earning money, and general business principles. What started as a small after school job for his children has now expanded to different parts of Owasso, Oklahoma, with more towns to be included in the near future.
Jake attended the Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, which is an eight day business boot camp that inspired him to think about the future of Owasso Green Teens Curbside Recycling. He has multiple goals for the company, including helping his children manage their financial burdens during college, hiring other youth from the community to teach them about entrepreneurship, and gaining more commercial customers to expand the business’s current scope of clients. Another possibility Jake is considering is franchising for families in other parts of the country.
Jake and his family have created an opportunity to spend time together while helping their community and the planet. If you’re looking to make recycling easier, visit www.greenteens.net!