The winter thaw across the area has revealed more than brown grass waiting for the warmth of spring. The side of many stateline roads are littered with trash, left there by passing trash trucks. 
“You can follow a truck and you can see the stuff flying out,” resident Ronald Lowder said.
All day trucks come in and out of the Winnebago County landfill, emptying loads of garbage from around northern Illinois, but not all that trash make it there. Some fly out the back of trucks along the way, leaving roadsides, like Interstate-39, littered with debris, giving those visiting the area a not so welcoming sight.
“Everyone’s garbage is basically coming here, that’s horrible” Lowder said. “Driving in and driving out, that’s the first thing you see is the side of the road with trash up and down, both highways.”
“It’s just gross ‘cause you see it in the fields, the farmers have to deal with it,” resident Brandi Campos said. “It’s unappealing for travelers coming down this way.”
Thousands of tons of trash are dumped into the landfill daily. District manager Lacy Ballard says there isn’t much they can do to make sure trucks aren’t spewing garbage throughout the trip
“People at the site make sure that the vehicles that come in do have tarps and that they’ve attempted to secure their loads as well as possible, so if somebody comes in without a tarp we basically tell them they can’t come back without a tarp,” Ballard said.
The public outcry to fix the problem hasn’t gone unnoticed. Last Thursday in the County Board meeting, Board Chair Frank Haney made sure to bring the issue to the attention of local leaders.
“How can we improve this situation so that the front porch on that end of town, this entry way or gateway into our region, into our county, into the Rockford region looks the best it can look,” Haney said.
Wheels to solve the problem are already in motion. There’s a closed meeting Tuesday morning between local landfill leaders and some concerned citizens.