garbage and recycling
A bear’s strongest sense is smell. They can pick up a scent from over a mile away! That is more than seven times better than a bloodhound.
Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food or garbage.
If you and your neighbors keep your food and garbage secure from bears, you will go a long way toward keeping bears in the wild and out of your neighborhood. We urge you to follow this list of simple precautions.
Anything that attracts dogs or raccoons will attract bears, too!
The Keep Bears Out page offers a variety of solutions for securing garbage and recycling like the one pictured above.
Bears are extremely strong with deft claws and sharp teeth. If they have time (like all night long…), and motivation (hunger!), they can get into anything not specifically designed to keep them out.
A bear-resistant trash can or dumpster looks just like the ones you know, but has been reinforced with locks or a push-to-open latching system. Bear-resistant dumpster lids must also be made of metal, not plastic!
If your waste service provider does not offer bear-resistant trash cans, you can purchase your own wildlife-resistant container or dumpster. Before purchasing a bear-resistant container, be sure to check with your waste service provider to ensure they will service it. The up-front cost is worth it when considering replacement of ruined garbage cans and time spent picking up scattered trash. Your action on behalf of bears will make a difference for bears and your community.
To purchase bear-resistant containers:
Some homemade containers and barriers can be made with items you can purchase from local hardware stores. Others can be purchased online. Contact your local fish and game officer for recommendations.