One of the hardest parts of getting into the habit of recycling is starting.
That's why Michelle Diehl, administrator for Yampa Valley Recycles, tells students in the organization's education programs that it's best to start small.
Once students go home and begin recycling a few common items, they find it's fun and are hooked, she said.
"It's amazing how the kids love to do this," she said. "(They) love to go home and explain it to their parents."
Even so, fewer than 5 percent of residents in Routt and Moffat counties recycle, said Barbara Hughes, chairwoman of Yampa Valley Recycles.
The organization hopes one step to changing that number will be the resolution Routt County commissioners are expected to pass today to designate Nov. 15 as America Recycles Day in Routt County. The Steamboat Springs City Council also likely will pass a similar resolution for the city at its meeting tonight.
America Recycles Day has been recognized across the country for the past six years.
As part of the designation, Yampa Valley Recycles will hold a recycling campaign from Nov. 7 through Nov. 17 to teach residents about recycling, Hughes said.
"We're hoping that by making recycling more convenient for people, we'll increase awareness and get more people recycling," Hughes said. "We hope that by having (people) realize how simple recycling is, then they'll continue."
During that week, six temporary drop-off recycling centers will be set up throughout the community with several in Steamboat Springs, and one each at the Clark Store, the Milner Mini-Storage and the Oak Creek Road and Bridge building.
At those recycling centers, as well as at the three permanent centers, residents will be able to drop off aluminum, steel, plastic, glass, newspaper and cardboard.
As part of their advertising campaign, the group also is displaying a collection of goods made from recycled materials that was put together by the Colorado Association of Recycling and is being shown across the country this fall.
Along with encouraging people to recycle, it's important to encourage them to buy recycled goods to complete the circle, Diehl said.
"Unless we buy items made from recycled materials, we won't create the demand needed" to manufacture the items, she said.
All Steamboat Springs residents are encouraged to call Waste Management at 879-2400 during the campaign to sign up for free recycling service. For more recycling information, call the Yampa Valley Recycles hot line at 870-7575.
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