COLORADO SPRINGS — Every week News5 is recognizing students who do good deeds in their school or community. This week, the Wolf Ranch neighborhood in Northeast Colorado Springs is also recognizing a 15-year-old boy with autism for going out of his way to help the environment.
Darrin Khan Steele lives in the neighborhood and last month he made a public service announcement video, asking neighbors to get involved in recycling.
"I want to put a recycle cart there and I want to put the recycle cart there," Darrin Khan pointed out.
His father, Darrin Steele, says his son's passion for helping the environment began about two years ago.
"It started with him just watching the recycling trucks when they come for pickup and disposal of recycling," said Steele. "We started walking the neighborhood on recycling day, and he noticed not everyone has a recycling bin."
That's really when Darrin Khan became a steward of the environment. His father says he practices what he preaches. Darrin Khan even began recycling on his own which is something he takes seriously.
"If he sees something sitting out that needs to be recycled, he goes in the recycling bin," and grabs it, said Steele.
Eventually, Darrin Khan made a video encouraging others to recycle, and he posted it online. In the video, he says for about $7.50 a month, you can get a green recycling bin of your own, and have your items recycled weekly.
His efforts have already made a big impact. More people in the Wolf Ranch neighborhood began recycling in the past month. The neighborhood also recognized him for his volunteer efforts by giving him a gift certificate.
Rain or shine, Darrin Khan and his father also watch for the recycling truck every Monday morning, something they'll likely do for a long time coming.
"He'll probably stop when every neighbor recycles," said Steele. "But maybe not even then."
Darrin Khan has also taken trips to the GFL offices. He knows the recycling truck drivers on a first name basis and his dream is to do a ride-along one day.
You can watch his public service announcement video here.