Perinton preteen launches recycling service
According to Johanna Perrin sixth grader Noah Moretter, “if you recycle, you are doing something good for the Earth and good for your community. Anyone can do it and if you are passionate about it, you can do a lot to help out.”
When COVID-19 shut down schools in March, the Perinton 12-year-old decided to spend his time collecting cans. He made flyers and passed them out to neighbors and relatives.
“I have always been passionate about the environment and I had the time, so I thought I would help the community,” he said.
Moretter started out with 20 customers in March. He launched a website (noahsrecycling.weebly.com) in April and opened an Instagram account in July.
He currently has 250 customers and gets an average of 10 more each week. He collects recyclables from about 50 customers weekly, and rakes in between 5,000 and 6,000 cans a week. Moretter makes a monthly donation to the Perinton Food Shelf; uses some for business expenses, including gas and more bins; and puts the rest in his college fund.
When he realized over the summer he would need more bins, Moretter contacted Busch Systems in Toronto. He offered to promote the company on his Instagram and website in exchange for bins and stickers with his logo.
Moretter has made educational videos for America Recycles, which is part of the Environmental Protection Agency. Even with all his planning and hard work, Moretter is shocked his business took off like it did.
“I never would have guessed, I’m super surprised,” he said. “When I first started, a customer gave me a $10 gift card. I was shocked. I never expected to get anything for myself. People are treating me like I’m a superstar. I’m just recycling here.”
Moretter has an account at Can King and after a couple of weeks of dropping cans off, he was handed a $1,000 check. He thought it was a mistake, but it made him realize he had a good thing going.
“His mother and I could not be prouder of him for coming up with this idea and seeing it through,” said Chris Moretter, Noah’s dad. “It is cool that a 12-year-old has enough passion to really stick with it. It was all his idea to make donations to the Food Shelf, and he is not afraid to do anything to get his name out there and make connections to major companies.”
Moretter wanted to start a program at Johanna Perrin Middle School, so he contacted General Motors to see if they would sponsor him. GM gave him a grant and the final steps are underway to get the school program, which will include a compost pit, going.
“He is a fantastic kid,” Principal Patrick Grow said. “He is full of confidence and really wants to make this place better. He is exactly the kind of kid we want here, so mature and with a great head on his shoulders and he has a plan. He doesn’t want to just drop a bucket and tell everyone to fill it. His goal here is less business and more educational.”
Moretter plans to educate as many of his fellow students as possible on the importance of recycling.
“I just want to let them know how important it is to step up,” he said. “I hope everyone learns the importance of recycling.”