Youth crews clean up WA highways

From staff reports:

The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) is reminding Washington state residents that youth crews are cleaning up local highways and roads this summer, with the first session of work scheduled for June 26 through July 24, and the second session to run from July 25 through Aug. 20.

"Safety is our No. 1 priority," said Steven Williams, regional litter administrator and coordinator for the Ecology Youth Corps. "Every driver needs to stay alert when passing a litter crew. For most crew members, it's their first job. We're proud of their work to help keep our roadways litter-free."

The familiar orange "Ecology Youth Working" will adorn roads throughout King, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish counties during the two work periods this summer.

The corps is made up of teens ages 14-17. They receive $9.19 an hour and work 7.5 hours a day, Monday through Friday, according to the DOE.

In 2012, the youth crews cleaned 6,732 miles of roadways, picked up more than a million pounds of litter, and recycled approximately 143,000 pounds of materials, according to the DOE. In King County, the crews picked up approximately 49,000 pounds of litter.

Competition to be a part of these crews is pretty fierce, with the DOE noting that there were 843 applicants alone submitted to the DOE's regional office in Bellevue. Statewide, 299 youth were selected from more than 3,100 applicants.

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