Meet The Bethel Youth Litter Patrol
The Bethel Youth Litter Patrol is a group of teens helping the environment, little by little. The group, sponsored by the Orutsararmiut Native Council, picks up trash around Bethel, sorts recycled cans and plastic, and learns about the environment by talking about oil spills, pollution, and recycling.
“It’s all about stewardship and connecting them with an environmental education,” said Mary Matthias, ONC Environmental Program Coordinator. Matthias said that the group meets every week of the summer, usually on Mondays and Wednesdays.
This summer, five students are participating: Madison Alikar, Katya Carl, Aqualena Carl, Christianna Cedillo, and Dallas Oscar.
“We go down to the 4-H Center to present to kids and teach them about the harmful things that can harm the environment,” Oscar said.
Another task the Youth Litter Patrol takes on is collecting trash in public areas. A couple weeks ago, they picked up trash in the area between Housing Subdivision and City Subdivision. Cedillo and Oscar didn’t like what they saw there.
“Trash everywhere. In the tundra too,” Cedillo said.
“I think if they put recycling bins across, all across town, it would be so much easier. There wouldn’t be so much aluminum cans around everywhere,” Oscar said.
ONC has a process to ship out recycled aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and the Youth Litter Patrol separates the plastic bottles and aluminum cans from trash. For now, ONC can only recycle aluminum cans and plastic beverage bottles.
Recently, Matthias and the Youth Litter Patrol went to the Bethel 4-H Club to talk about recycling, and distributed green recycling bags to the participants.
At the 4-H Club, the Youth Litter Patrol also talked about contests that could be held to promote recyling. One would be the best poster promoting recycling; the other would recognize the person who recycles the most.