"Trashy Tuesdays" volunteers head out to begin cleaning on May 31.

‘Trashy Tuesdays’ spiff up EdCC campus

LYNNWOOD — Trash pickup parties at Edmonds Community College combine lessons in environmentalism and the importance of community service.

Called “Trashy Tuesdays,” the work parties are held almost every week during the academic year, said Stewart Sinning, an EdCC volunteering manager.

Some students participate for service-learning credits and some for fun, he said.

Each event combines an hour of picking up trash and an hour of discussion and reflection.

Over the past three quarters, Trashy Tuesdays led to the collection of 225 pounds of garbage from campus, said Juliene Wall, a volunteering coordinator for the college.

In that same time frame, organizers counted about 300 student participants — sometimes more than two dozen a week.

The program started years ago, Sinning said. The idea was “to go around our campus and have our students pick up litter and learn about what happens to litter if it’s not picked up and how it enters our waterways and affects marine life and how it impacts humans as well,” he said.

Half of the fun is seeing students meet new people and make new friends, Wall said.

The college tries to offer a variety of volunteering opportunities, including some with an environmental component, Sinning said. Litter on campus can go into stormwater drains and end up in Puget Sound and even the Pacific Ocean, he said.

Wall teaches students that the most common kinds of trash found on campus — including gum and candy wrappers — are also the most common kinds found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean.

In the 2014-15 school year, EdCC students performed a total of almost 12,000 service-learning hours, Sinning said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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