- Some Evergreen, CO residents are asking Jefferson County to adopt an ordinance that would require secure, bear-resistant trash containers. Recently, a resident shot and killed two bear cubs that were getting into his trash. The man is facing charges, including a felony illegal discharge of a firearm.
- "To me the incident that happened isn't an isolated incident, it's something that's been brewing for years," said Emma Channing, who is involved in the effort to introduce an ordinance, to The Denver Post. Channing created an online survey that she said got 175 responses reflecting support for an ordinance with fines for noncompliance.
- County commissioners, who would have to approve such an ordinance, didn't show much support, citing cost and enforcement problems.
Bear-resistant trash containers have been a trend spreading across the industry, especially in areas of Colorado. Boulder is cracking down on residents who do not secure their trash, as officials have handed out $250 citations. In Florida, the 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. Nevada and Alaska have had problems as well.
While bear-resistant 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. Waste Management, an Evergreen-area trash hauler along with Mountain View Waste Systems, reports few instances of bears getting into trash. Isha Cogborn, senior communications specialist, said Waste Management provides bear-proof containers where they are required and encourages other residents to get their own.
Jefferson County Commissioner Don Rosier recommends education and outreach instead of an ordinance. Commissioner Libby Szabo said most people manage their trash responsibly. "I don't know that we always need to go in and say, because one thing happened, we have a community-wide problem," she told the Denver Post.
Jennifer Churchill of Colorado Parks and Wildlife said there is not much participation in the area in the department's Bear Aware volunteer program.