Recycling is something more of us should do, but I believe there are three main reasons why so many people in Mesa County don't recycle.

A while back I wrote about the Mesa County Landfill running out of room. Barrett Jensen, the Mesa County Solid Waste Director told me in Mesa County 6.6 pounds of trash per person is being generated, compared to the national average of 4.5 five pounds per person. The issue is clear. Mesa County is not recycling. But, why?

No doubt, there are various reasons why people don't recycle, but rarely are the reasons valid. Not wanting to put forth the effort is probably the number one thing that keeps people from recycling, and part of that is people not wanting to educate themselves about the benefits and how-tos of recycling.

Here is a look at what I believe to be the three main reasons why more people in Mesa County are not recycling.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO RECYCLE
I don't mean this disrespectfully, but one of the biggest obstacles to recycling is ignorance. People simply do not understand exactly what can be recycled. The fact is, a vast majority of our everyday trash is recyclable whether it's glass food containers, plastic bottles, cardboard, paper, aluminum, and iron among other things.

Going full bore recycling may be a bit intimidating to someone who has never done it at all. It that's you, start with the basics and then grow your recycling efforts over time. Just getting started is a step in the right direction. Start with the simple stuff like plastic bottles, glass food containers, and aluminum cans. Once you get a good system in place, increase the types of items you are recycling.

If you aren't exactly sure what can be recycled, take a few minutes to look at the Mesa County Solid Waste website for an itemized list of dos and don'ts.

I'M NOT SURE HOW TO DO IT
We live in the internet age so take advantage of the technology. There is a lot of good information out there about how to recycle. The Mesa County Solid Waste website has a good list of recyclable items and the proper way to recycle particular items. For example, glass and plastic containers should all be rinsed out. They don't want plastic bags but they'll gladly take your cereal boxes, magazines, newspaper, corrugated cardboard, and steel and tin food cans.

You just need to have a system in place at home so you can sort your recyclables easily as you go, whether you use large trash bags, or oversized containers to store your items in until you can properly turn them in. Perhaps you can designate a small area in the garage or the back porch for your recycle containers.

I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO
Well, this is an easy one. Mesa County Solid Waste receives recycled materials three days a week - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 8am-4pm. You will find large green bins clearly labeled with what is supposed to go inside each one.

If you don't want to mess with hauling your recyclables out to the land fill every month or two, there are some other options available in Mesa County, including curbside pick up. Just check with the Colorado Department of Public Health.