Department of Ecology News Release - February 4, 2022

Summer jobs open for Central WA teens

Ecology Youth Corps needs help cleaning up litter on roadways

Youth working on roadways relax and pose with bags of litter they've collected.


It’s an unfortunate and regrettable fact: Every winter, litter and trash build up on the sides of the roads and highways in Central Washington. Teens looking for a summer job can help clean it up.

The Washington Department of Ecology plans to hire 40 teenagers for our Ecology Youth Corps (EYC) program in the Central Region.

“Every summer we’re faced with what appears to be a daunting task. And over the last couple years, due to COVID restricting pickups, litter has really been piling up,” said Rod Hankinson, EYC crew manager in Ecology’s Central Regional Office. “We’re looking to fill five crews, based in Ellensburg, Richland, Sunnyside, Toppenish and Yakima.

“Not only will teens get important work experience and a paycheck, they will be helping beautify our roadways and lessening the impact of garbage on the environment,” he said.

Crews will work in one of two four-week sessions: June 27 to July 21, or July 25 to Aug. 17. Participants will earn $14.49 an hour, and work up to 32 hours per week, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

EYC crews picked up more than 1 million pounds of litter, covering more than 4,000 miles of roads statewide during the program’s last full season in 2019. Nearly 100,000 pounds of that litter was recyclable.

Since 1975, the EYC program has hired more than 12,000 Washington teens, offering them a summer job, valuable work experience, and the chance to preserve and protect Washington’s environment and natural beauty.

Graphic shows roadway, two hills and the sunsetting with

Applicants must be ages 14-17 as of June 27. Applications are due by April 1 and are available through area school counselors and Ecology’s website.

For more information, call 509-575-2490 at our Central Regional office, or contact Rod Hankinson at, or Monica Martinez at

Contact information

Joye Redfield-Wilder
Communications Manager
Twitter: EcyCentral