Department of Ecology News Release - February 21, 2023

Summer jobs now open for Central Washington teens

Teens ages 14-17 can apply to Ecology Youth Corps by April 3 to pick up litter and keep WA clean

Each year, Youth Corps teens help pick up over 1 million pounds of litter across the state. Nearly 100,000 pounds of that litter is recycled each year.


With the sun out and spring around the corner, there’s litter that needs to be cleaned up on our roadways in Central Washington. And this summer, local teens have an opportunity to help get this important work done.

The Washington Department of Ecology is hiring up to 72 teenagers throughout Central Washington this summer as part of the Ecology Youth Corps.

Teens chosen for the program will earn $15.74 an hour.


  • Up to 32 hours per week
  • 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Monday through Thursday

Teens will work in one of the following 3 ½-week sessions:

  • July 5 to July 27
  • July 31 to Aug. 17

Youth Corps teens are assigned to one of six crews in the region:

  • Ellensburg
  • Richland
  • Sunnyside
  • Toppenish
  • Goldendale
  • Yakima

In an average year, Ecology litter crews pick up over 1 million pounds of litter and clean over 4,000 miles of roads statewide. Nearly 100,000 pounds of that litter is recycled each year.

Since 1975, the program has hired more than 12,000 Washington teens, offering them a meaningful summer job, valuable work experience, and the chance to protect Washington’s environment for their own generation and the next.

Applicants must be ages 14 to 17 as of July 5, 2023. Applications are due by April 3.

To apply:

  • Get an application through your school’s counselor.
  • Visit the Ecology Youth Corps webpage:
  • Scan QR code below:
    QR code directing to the Ecology Youth Corps webpage with more information and application details.

Contact information

Rod Hankinson
Central Region Litter Administrator
Suzanna Martinez
Ecology Youth Corps Assistant