WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) — Garbage lines both sides of Interstate 39 heading into the Rockford area.
And now, several local leaders are trying to get to the bottom of it.
“We cannot have one of the gateways into the Rockford region look the way it currently does,” Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney says.
The Illinois Department of Transportation says it thinks that trash is flying off of garbage trucks heading to local landfills. It believes the tarps meant to secure that garbage is either worn or not tied down properly.
Over the past two weeks, it says the department put in more than 1,000 man hours to clean it up. But, trash still lingers in that area.
“I don’t know that we can afford to pay people to clean up the mess all the time and so there’s never a problem,” Haney says. That’s the expensive way to do it.”
The Winnebago Landfill has some ideas it wants to try in hopes of keeping the trash off the roads and in the trucks. It says it will start charging customers if their tarps are worn or not secured properly.
It also says its creating new check points at the landfill to make sure the driver cleans out their truck when it drops off a load.
“If they are not completely clean, they make them loop back and finish cleaning out,” Lacy Ballard with the Winnebago Landfill says.
Ballard says the landfill will start implementing some of those steps next week.
Police are also trying to help solve the problem. The county says officers could ticket garbage truck drivers if their trucks aren’t cleaned out properly.