Potential fines for littering along Winnebago County highways and interstates

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- With the growing garbage problem along busy interstates and highways throughout Winnebago County, a potential solution looms large.

"It's a preventative measure. To keep that from happening, just be more careful," said Carlos Molina, Assistant Engineer, Winnebago County.

Bags, cans and even a stray glove litter a pocket of Baxter Road near Interstate 39.

For those living nearby, the garbage is an eyesore and Winnebago County Board Chairperson Frank Haney says it's getting worse.

"When I heard some of the stories related to the Illinois Department of Transportation, you know, employing dozens of people over a course of a week and spending $38,000 in having people clean up trash off the interstate, and a week later, you couldn't even tell there was a clean-up effort, that tells me that there's way too much garbage flying off of trucks coming into town," said Haney.

Haney, along with members of IDOT, the Winnebago landfill, the Sheriff's Office and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency came up with a possible solution: make sure garbage trucks secure tarps and add fines if they don't.

"As far as we're concerned, the county, we're trying to do the best we can to keep garbage from flying off into the roads, that means working with the landfill, with the county board, keeping the litter from littering our roads," said Molina.

"We have a great community, we want to have our front porch to our community reflect what's inside it, which is a bunch of great people and great things. We don't want our front porch having garbage all over it, so we have to do a better job," said Haney.

23 News reached out to the landfill, but they did not return our call for comment.