- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is pushing for mandated bear-proof trash cans to keep black bears away from harmful garbage and to reduce bear-human interactions.
- Only local governments can mandate the switch, which can cost $200 a bin, according to Keyna Cory, lobbyist for the National Waste & Recycling Association's Florida chapter.
- So far, the commission has signed a Waste Management Resolution and approved a policy paper explaining the need for this issue to be addressed.
While bear-proof bins are a good idea, there's more to the issue. For haulers, the large bins are heavy and trucks may need to be retrofitted for semi-automated pickup.
As bears continue to search for food, humans will need to take steps to secure their trash while the state works on finding a solution. "We’ve all agreed we’re going to be working on this issue together," said Cory. "There’s no magic wand to make this whole thing go away. We’re going to have to figure out together, collectively, what’s the best solution for each community."
Communities should consider all measures, with public education at the forefront. "Education is key," said FWC Chairman Richard Corbett in a press release.