EDWARDSVILLE — There is nothing attractive about trash on the side of the roads, that is why county leaders are cleaning it up themselves.

"We take it seriously, we want our communities to look good, we want it to look clean for a variety of reasons," Chairman Kurt Prenzler said.

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Building and Zoning Director Chris Doucleff said he receives constant complaints about the litter along Interstate 270 and Illinois 255, along with other routes that lead to the landfill. The reason — garbage dump trucks may not be tarping their trucks properly and debris flies out.

“Trash is constantly flying out the trucks hauling trash from Missouri to the Roxana Landfill,” Doucleff said. “The No. 1 problem area in the county is the intersection at I-270 and Illinois Route 3.”

Madison County launched its Clean Communities program in March and within its first two months, more than 1,500 resource tool kits distributed to individuals and groups. The kits include trash bags, reflective vests, gloves and litter grabbers.

“It’s remarkable how many people are excited about taking part in this program,” Doucleff said. “Not only does the public get involved, but the chairman has gone out on several occasions to pick up trash and so have employees.”

On May 12, Doucleff, along with building and zoning employees — Public Engagement Coordinator Brandon Banks and Education Coordinator Bailey Lutz — went to two problem locations to pick up trash — Illinois Route 143, just east of the Illinois 255 overpass, and the intersection of Interstate 270 and Illinois Route 3.

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“We collected trash all day and didn’t even pick up half the trash that was out there,” he said.

Doucleff said that after picking up the trash he contacted Granite City Mayor Mike Parkinson, who then sent a public works crew to haul away the collected items.

“Not all of the debris at the 270/3 interchange is coming from the trash haulers,” he said. “Some of it is being dumped.”

Metal parts, clothing, bottles filled with urine and a mattress were all discarded under the overpass.

“It’s always nice to have a cooperative effort between the city and county,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson said anytime the county or residents in Granite City volunteers to pick up trash the city will assist in hauling away the debris.

Visit recycling@co.madison.il.us or call (618) 296-4468 for questions or more information about the program. Like Madison County Clean Communities Facebook page and share your volunteer cleanup with the hashtag #MadCoClean.

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