They're students with legitimate jobs, not inmates. The state's Ecology Youth Corps starts the job of picking up trash along the state's roads in Yakima, Toppenish and Sunnyside this week. Jani Gilbert with the state Department of Ecology says many times people think the kids are prison inmates working on the side of the road. So besides not yelling profanities at the kids drivers are also encouraged to watch for the kids as they work picking up all kinds of trash on the sides of state roads in the Yakima, Toppenish and Sunnyside areas.

In 2011, EYC litter crews cleaned nearly 5,225 miles of roadways, picked up 505 tons of litter and recycled 90 tons of materials. Gilbert says the EYC is an important part of an overall ecology-coordinated effort that each year removes more than 3,500 tons of litter and illegally dumped materials statewide.