Plenty of folks at this point (hat tips: Scott’s Take, DCist) have pointed out that the Mayor’s Conservation Corps—-part of the city summer jobs program—-have spent their first days on the job handing out paper doorhangers.

Many of them have ended up on the street and sidewalks, and then there’s the obvious irony of promoting a green initiative by distributing tons of thick paperstock around town.

LL called up the D.C. Department of the Environment, which runs the Green Summer Jobs Program, and asked spokesperson Alan Heymann about the doorhangers and the ironical elements at play.

The point of the doorhangers, Heymann says, is “to announce to the community that the conservation corps is going to be out doing this type of work” and to solicit project suggestions from residents.

But why use dead trees to do so?

“Not every resident of the District of Columbia is on a listserve or a blog,” he explains.

In any case, they’re printed on 100 percent recycled paper with vegetable inks, 100,000 of them have been printed, and they’re being distributed everywhere the corps operates—-which is pretty much everywhere but Ward 3. (Not as much work there, Heymann notes, but if you have a suggestion for a project there, call 535-2325.)

Soon the kids will move on to more substantial work—-some have already started tree box inspections. “This is kind of by way of introduction,” Heymann says. “It’s a long summer.”

And in any case, Heymann says, kids shouldn’t be tossing the hangers on the ground. “When we get a report [of littering], we send the kids back out to fix it,” he says. “We certainly don’t want any litter on the ground.”