Blowing bags close Outagamie County landfill

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LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - Strong winds Tuesday and Wednesday are causing major problems at the Outagamie County landfill -- and downwind of it.

Trash is being blown into nearby neighborhoods.

The landfill is located along Interstate 41 in Little Chute. Surrounding neighborhoods are covered in debris, mostly plastic shopping bags, caught up in fences and the branches of trees and littering lawns.

By Wednesday night the mess extended for miles.

County Executive Tom Nelson says it's a situation like he's never seen before.

"First of all it was pretty clear this morning that we were fighting a losing battle. So we took this step which I'm not aware we've ever done anything like this before, but clearly it was you know, really the only choice that we had," said Nelson.

As a result of it, all operations at the landfill ceased at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Instead, sanitation workers were on cleanup duty, picking up trash from the neighborhoods. The highway department was helping, too, as the trash was also blowing across the interstate.

The county is hiring a private company to join the cleanup Thursday.

The county isn't sure how much trash left the landfill or how much it will cost to clean up.

Sara Manns of Little Chute lives just a few blocks from the landfill.

She said, "Yeah, my patio furniture is all over the place, garbage hanging from my trees in the front where it's blown thru, so pretty much it's always all over the place the wind back there. There's no houses supporting it trees or anything so it's just a nasty mess."