Department of Ecology News Release - January 31, 2013

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Area teens needed to help fight litter on state highways

SPOKANE – The Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) Eastern Regional Office in Spokane plans to hire about 115 teens throughout Eastern Washington this summer to help clean up area roadsides, parks and recreation areas. Ecology Youth Corps (EYC) members also will learn how to better care for the environment.

Youths, ages 14 to 17, who live in Eastern Washington counties can apply through April 1, 2013, to work with one of Ecology’s EYC crews cleaning up litter this summer. Crews will work 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, Monday through Friday, in one of two four-week sessions. Crew locations include Chewelah, Clarkston, Colville, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Othello, Pasco, Pullman, Republic, Ritzville, Spokane, Walla Walla and Wilbur.

Sessions this year run from June 24 through July 19, 2013, and again from July 22 through Aug. 16. Participants will be paid $9.19 an hour.

Funding for the Ecology Youth Corps program comes from a dedicated account called the Waste Reduction, Recycling and Model Litter Control Account.  The account is funded by a voter-approved tax on items related to the litter problem.

Over the past several years, Ecology’s litter program, which includes the Ecology Youth Corps, had lost about a third of its budget because of the downturn in the economy.  This year, former Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget proposal left more money in the account to fund the program. It will be up to the Legislature, however, to determine the program’s final budget.

More information about Ecology’s budget is online.

Applications are available through area school counselors and online. More information is available on the Ecology website, or by calling Lynette Kuehl, in Ecology’s Spokane office, at 509 329-3434.

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Media Contact: Brook Beeler, communications manager 509-329-3478; cell, 509-290-0855; e-mail, brook.beeler@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Ecology Youth Corps (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/eyc/)

Litter (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/litter)

Ecology’s social media: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html