ROXANA, Ill. – Flying trash has been a problem for decades, with garbage being dumped in Illinois landfills near St. Louis, much of it being hauled in from Missouri. Lawmakers in Illinois are now cracking down.

People who live near Roxanna Landfill, Inc., or drive nearby say on a bad day, a windy day, you’ll see trash flying through the air.

Residents say they’ve been startled by plastic bags seemingly appearing out of nowhere and hitting their windshields.

“On different weather days, the wind catches it the right way, (garbage trucks) are losing all kinds of stuff in the trees and on the ground,” State Senator Erica Harriss, R-Glen Carbon, said.

She authored one of two bills to reign things in. The Illinois House and Senate passed both. Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign them into law.

“When people drive into Illinois, we don’t want them to be introduced to Illinois with trash along the side of the road. We can do better than that,” Harriss said.

The bills require landfills in Madison, St. Clair, and similar-sized counties to have facilities on site to clean mud from truck wheels and undercarriages before they leave the landfill after dumping their trash. Truck drivers must also secure tarps over the tops of their loads to prevent flying trash. Tarp violations can bring $150 fines and additional $150 fine per violation beyond a fourth offense in a single year.

Residents said the mud tracked out by trucks is as concerning as garbage in the air.

“Bits of diapers and stuff like that come out on the truck tires sometimes. At one point I found some papery substance, a tarry substance, leaving black, tarry, things on the road. So, it’s far more than just mud,” resident Mike Weaver said. “We’re not against the landfill. We just want it to be a good neighbor. I think it has the ability to do that if it spends money on some of these things as the cost of doing business.”

Harriss called Roxanna Landfill a good community partner.

The landfill’s manager said drivers from the various haulers have already been put on notice about the new requirements and the mud cleaning station has been in operation on site, even though the new laws won’t take effect until New Year’s Day.