As the president and CEO of his own recycling business, a 12-year-old boy from Missouri is working to help the environment -- one discarded inkjet cartridge at a time.
Middle schooler Sam Klein's fascination with trash began when he was just a child, MSNBC reports.
At age five, he befriended the garbage collectors who would come by his St. Louis home. Soon, he was taking rides on the garbage truck and helping collectors load trash. According to NBC 7 News, Sam even had his birthday party at a waste disposal facility once.
“Did you know that each person [on the planet] throws out four and a half pounds of trash a day?” he told NBC 7 News. “Now multiply that by 3.8 billion people. How many pounds is that?”
At the age of 12, Klein decided to launch his own recycling business, collecting empty inkjet cartridges from local businesses and sending them off to cartridge manufacturers in packed boxes.
Spending about 10 hours a week on his business, Klein earns up to $200 for each box he sends in for recycling.
He then donates the profits to charities in the St. Louis area.
“It hurts him to see someone tossed aside, whether it’s a person or it's garbage," said his mother, Heidi Klein.
According to MSNBC, Klein has already donated about $1,000 to local organizations, such as the Ronald McDonald House.
But the young entrepreneur and philanthropist insists that this is just the beginning.
"I feel I'm making a small difference, but I hope to make a larger and larger difference," he said.