Winnebago County ordinance amendments could clean up neighborhoods

Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 10:01 PM CST
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Winnebago County board members talk trash as it looks to amend its waste haulers and solid waste ordinances.

"We like where we live. We don't want to move just because we have landfills that can't do their job," said David DeBlauw, New Milford homeowner.

DeBlauw has lived in New Milford for 29 years.

"When we moved to that area we knew that both landfills were there," DeBlauw said.

But he was told the landfills would close within six or seven years.

"Well that never happened and it's been getting bigger ever since," DeBlauw said.

Now DeBlauw says the odor from the landfill is unbearable.

"Our biggest concern is what it's doing to our health. What is the landfill is doing to water supply," DeBlauw said.

Many community members want the smell to disappear, but it’s not something the county can control.

"It's a state statute. So it brought landfills under the authority of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency," said Dr. Sandra Martell, Winnebago County Public Health Administrator.

The Winnebago County Health Department brought recommendations before the county board to provide more sanitary garbage pick-up.

"We are ensuring that the vehicles are intact, they are not leaking and that they are able to be tarped and untarped," Martell said.

County board member Jean Crosby says in the updated codes the county could fine a garbage collector for all the trash that ends up on the roads.

"It's like giving them a license to travel across the county and that license in some cases would be $20,000 so it's a revenue source for the county. I was very disappointed to not see it get passed and get sent back to the county for a third or fourth time," Crosby said.

A vote is expected at the next county board meeting on November 26.

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