Roadside Trash Problem Headed for the Dump as Keicher, Harriss Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

Rep. Keicher (left) speaks with Vice President of the Kane County Farm Bureau, Dale Pitstick (right), during a tour of Pitstick's farming operation in 2023.

The sight of trash blowing off waste-hauling trucks headed to landfills has become an all-too-common sight. Besides the unsightly nature of blowing trash, it has raised safety and environmental concerns for many communities, as well as caused damage to farmers’ operations and their fields. State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) and State Senator Erica Harriss (R-Glen Carbon) have joined forces and worked with local leaders in their respective districts to develop legislation to curb the problem.

Today, House Bill 4848 sailed through the Illinois State Senate unanimously, having previously advanced unanimously through the Illinois House, and is now ready for the Governor’s signature into law.  

Keicher stressed the frustration he and community members have had with this issue, “For years, I’ve been frustrated with the trash that’s been windblown from waste haulers going from transfer stations to landfills through our communities. Besides the litter problem, trash blowing off waste trucks is a safety hazard, and it is damaging local farmers’ fields and equipment.

“House Bill 4848 will help us curb the problem by strengthening the current requirement for how waste hauling trucks must cover their loads, as well as holding the companies accountable through an updated violation and fine process.”

Current law places nominal fines on the truck driver for not having their load properly secured and debris flying off. Through Keicher and Harriss’ legislation, the truck driver is now liable for a $150 fine per violation and it adds fines of $150 per violation for the trucking company that owns the trailer, and it also creates a process for the fines collected to be distributed to local governments to pay for clean-up when necessary.

“Trash flying out the back of a truck not only creates a serious safety concern for those traveling up and down our roads, but it also creates an environmental concern,” said Senator Harriss. “My hope is through this legislation, we can cleanup our roadways by eliminating potential hazards and holding bad actors accountable for not following the law. This bill is another step in the right direction to cleaning up roads in Madison County and across our state.” 

Now that HB 4848 has unanimously passed both houses of the General Assembly, Keicher and Harriss look forward to it being signed into law by the Governor.

Rep. Keicher serves the 70th District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Kane, and McHenry Counties.

Senator Harriss serves the 56th District, which includes portions of Madison and St. Clair counties.