Young Entrepreneur

This is a great story that was published in The Tennessean recently:

Lockeland Springs boy wonder recycles glass
Six-year-old has his own green business

By Nancy Deville • THE TENNESSEAN • December 21, 2009

Six-year-old Gunner is concerned about ‘keeping the earth healthy’ and has turned his hobby into a profitable business.

The youngster, with a little help from his stepdad, has started Gunner’s Glass Recycling.

His concept is pretty simple. When you sign up, he delivers a plastic container with his green “G” logo plastered to the side.

And for $5, he’ll pick up your recycled glass twice a month. Gunner and his stepdad then dispose of the items at the Metro East Recycling Center, just a few miles from their home.

“I just really like recycling, and it makes me happy,” the youngster said. “I don’t want to see any trash on the ground.”

Learning as he goes
Gunner has that same passion at home, where he’s known as the recycle police.

He monitors what’s thrown away and grabs cardboard, cans and bottles that were not properly disposed of and places them in the appropriate bins.

“I look for the symbols on all the bottles and put them in the right container,” he said.

His parents are just as surprised as everyone else that Gunner has such enthusiasm on saving the environment.

“He was asking about money, so I thought we could combine the two,” said Shawn Sweeney, Gunner’s stepfather. “We go and hang out for a couple of hours on Sundays, and it’s been very good for me.

“I want to teach him a few things about responsibility, all while making a little money.”

Sweeney says Gunner is already learning it’s a lot smarter to save and not spend all his money. He stashes most of his earnings in his bank account, but keeps some of the money in his piggy bank.

What Metro doesn’t do, he does
Gunner’s business is filling a void for many Lockeland Springs residents. Recycled glass is not collected curbside by Metro Public Works, but residents can utilize the drop off program and take glass, along with other recyclables, to various collection sites.

“The younger generation already understands, and recycling is an active part of their lives,” said Veronica Frazier, head of Metro Beautification. “This is a needed service because people want convenient recycling opportunities.”

So far Gunner’s up to about 38 customers, many of whom say they are recycling more because of his efforts.

“The service was very appealing to me because I could avoid going to the recycling place,” said Andrew Perlmutter. “With his dad’s help, Gunner is really getting a good look at how to run a business and take a problem and turn it into a positive solution.”

Jennifer Cook has been a customer of Gunner’s for about six months and has already referred his services to others.

“It’s such a cool thing. I just set the container on the porch and, it’s empty when I get back,” she said. “For $5 a month I get a container and help a kid, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

“It’s great to show a child you can have an idea and then put it into fruition.”

Contact Nancy DeVille at or 615-259-8304.

He’s become one of the youngest recycling gurus in Lockeland Springs, and he’s giving neighbors a reason to be more environmentally friendly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: