Monday, July 21, 2008

Litter and the Ecology Youth Corps

Ever seen those Ecology trash bags full of litter on the side of the road and wonder how they got there? They 're brought to you by the Ecology Youth Corps.

The Youth Corps program, supported by the Department of Ecology, removes more than 1.1 million pounds of litter and illegally dumped materials annually from along Washington's roadways.

The youth, ages 14 to 17, work in two, four-week sessions. The litter crews will be at work from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, June 24 to July 18 and again from July 22 to August 15. Crews work in teams of five or six with an experienced adult supervisor. Each crew cleans four to ten miles of roadway per day.

On rainy days, or when the weather is too hot, the crews will take a break from the road to receive classroom education that focuses on climate change, waste reduction and recycling. Or they might visit a park or rest area to educate the public about litter issues.

They aren't the only ones who assist in the highway clean up effort. Other participants include county community litter-cleanup programs and state agencies, Corrections, Natural Resources, Parks and Transportation (through the Adopt-A-Highway program). You can read more about the who's who of litter clean up.

Can you believe that even with a fine of up to $1,025 for littering there are over a million pounds of litter to be cleaned up from the roadways every year?

If you happen to see report litter coming from a vehicle and want to report it, call toll-free to 866-LITTER-1 (866-548-8371). Learn more at

Just like the WSDOT workers, highway cleanup crews all follow roadway safety rules - cones, reflective vests, hardhats, etc. - and they get extensive safety training. With these young people at the roadside, we can not over emphasize that you need to Give 'em a Brake.


The Geezer said...

Yeah, the EYC is a great idea.

Nice to see you reasonably believe that the fine for littering is more than for drunk driving.

More logic (NOT!)from our gub'mint.

And BTW, did they ever decide that names of those folks that got litter letters is public? I got one, and I NEVER litter.

The Geezer

Jeremy Bertrand said...

The Washington State Traffic Safety Commission has prepared a document that provides more information regarding DUI sentencing and fines. Geez is correct about the minimum fine being less than for littering, however there is a lot more to the sentencing for driving impared than just a fine. See for yourself...
(document is in Acrobat reader format)

Jessica said...

I think its great that the Youth Corps does that, its a great lesson for the kids and builds a better understanding of what exactly littering does.

A lot of people just don't seem to realize that throwing out even one candy wrapper makes a huge impact. I have cleaned up road sides before so I know how bad it can get.

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