Recycling made easier

Campaign focuses on public perception

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— Whistle Pig Willy hopes recycling becomes a habit for Routt County residents.

The furry varmint who dresses in western wear and preaches the virtues of conservation to children will take center stage next week.

But his message is not just for youngsters. Supporters of local recycling efforts hope grownups take Willy's "Don't let those recyclables go to waste" motto to heart.

Yampa Valley Recycles kicks off its weeklong campaign to increase recycling in the community next Monday.

The campaign concludes Friday, Nov. 15 with America Recycles Day.

"We want to make recycling easier," said Michelle Diehl of Yampa Valley Recycles. The volunteer organization aims to show residents that recycling isn't rocket science.

If people realize how easy recycling is in the course of next week's campaign, Diehl said, they are more inclined to make it a habit.

Central to simplifying recycling is making recycling opportunities more accessible to the public.

Residents who do not have curbside recycling must drop off their recyclables at Waste Management in Steamboat Springs or the Hayden Mercantile in Hayden.

The city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County and Waste Management are placing additional recycling collection sites next week at the Stockbridge Center, 10th Street parking lot, Haymaker Golf Course, Gondola parking lot, town of Oak Creek, Clark General Store and Milner landfill.

The extra collection sites are for one week only.

Yampa Valley Recycles will unveil the first pedestrian recycle unit, or PRU, on the corner of Seventh and Lincoln next Tuesday.

The PRU is a pilot project intended to discourage downtown pedestrians from tossing their newspapers, glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans in garbage cans.

The device serves as a newspaper rack as well as a recycling center. Supporters of the idea hope pedestrians eventually recognize the PRU as a site to pick up the daily news and an appropriate resting place for their empty Snapple bottle.

Diehl said Yampa Valley Recycles would monitor the community's response to the pilot project and use that information to determine the need for additional PRUs.

The Routt County commissioners will sign a resolution today that recognizes Nov. 15 as America Recycles Day in the county. The city will follow suit Nov. 12 with its own proclamation.

More information about activities during the week of Nov. 11 to 15 is available online at www.yampavalleyrecycles.org or by calling the Yampa Valley Recycles hotline at 870-7575.

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