Young Entrepreneur With Autism Starts Successful Recycling Business In Tennessee

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down regular activities around the world, Ashton Gilbert found himself stuck at home with nothing to do.

21-year-old Ashton lives with his parents in Lebanon, TN, and like many people during the lockdown, he wanted to find something to do to fill his days at home.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ashton has autism and finding employment through traditional avenues wasn’t an option, so his parents set out to help him find something else. Eventually, they realized their local community was lacking in resources for picking up recycling. That’s something Ashton could do and it’s something he could do mostly independently!

With his parents help, Ashton launched his own cardboard recycling business in March of 2021: UnBoxed.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

As the company explains on its website, “Unboxed Recycling was born from the need of a disabled young adult (Ashton) to be employed, and his parent’s need for weekly cardboard removal.”

The company’s long-term goal is to “hire other individuals who may be on the spectrum, have intellectual challenges, or other disabilities that make traditional employment a challenge.”

According to the website, Ashton recycled over 16 tons of cardboard in his first year of business!

In an interview with Fox News, Gilbert said his favorite part of the job is “interacting with customers.”

You can learn more about Ashton’s UnBoxed business on his website here!

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