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Ecology Youth Corps picking up litter statewide

Drivers are urged to watch out for 248 teens with the Ecology Youth Corps (EYC) picking up litter along roadways across the state through mid-August.

EYC crews based out of the Department of Ecology’s northwest and eastern regional offices started working in late June. The central crew began July 1, and the southwest crew begins work July 7.

Every year in Washington, more than 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.

Last year, EYC crews:

• picked up 1,081,874 pounds of litter;

• recycled 116,673 pounds of litter collected;

• cleaned 5,957 miles of road; and

• cleaned up 192 illegal dumps.

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

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