Department of Ecology News Release - October 8, 2014

Ecology Youth Corps wrap up productive season
Over 500,000 pounds litter picked up despite funding cut

OLYMPIA – Ecology Youth Corps crews picked up 501,275 pounds of litter this summer from 3,051 miles of roadways and 17 illegal dump sites in Washington.

Youth crews picked up 645,135 pounds of litter last summer. But fewer teens were hired this year due to legislative action transferring over 50 percent of the litter tax to fund State Parks operations.

Annually in Washington, over 12 million pounds of unwanted items are tossed and blown onto roads. Washingtonians can do their part by putting recyclables and trash in proper receptacles and securing items loaded into vehicles properly.

The Department of Ecology has employed over 12,000 teens ages 14 to 17 to clean roadsides and other illegal dump sites since 1975. Youths from all over the state gain valuable job skills, teamwork experience, safety awareness, and education about environmental topics.

Ecology also hires people 18 and older to clean more challenging roadways such as freeway medians, busy interchanges, and high-traffic areas. These crews will continue working through the end of the year.

The agency will begin accepting applications for next summer in February 2015.

Learn more about the EYC on the ECOconnect blog and by viewing a YouTube video in which three past EYC member share their life-changing experiences.

Engage with the EYC on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and Twitter:

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Contact:

Erika Holmes, communications, 360-515-8793, @ecologyWA