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Lake County Rolls Out More Bear-Resistant Bins

Bear crossing sign. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Bear crossing sign in Springs Landing. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Lake County’s rolling out a new batch of bear-resistant trash cans. Lake is one of the top five counties for bear-human interaction in the state, according to complaint call data from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

County environmental services manager Mary Hamilton said about 14,500 households in Lake County are in an area with a high number of bear-human interactions, which is where residents are switching to bear resistant carts.

“Mainly people are interested with the days they put their normal garbage out, bears tearing open their garbage and them having to clean them up," said Hamilton.

The bear resistant garbage cart has a locking mechanism in the lid so bears can’t open it.

Harris said now is a good time to get one of the carts.

“The bears are always going to look for their easiest mark for food, so if you have people concentrated in an area with these carts, then, you know they’re going to be going elsewhere, staying in the woods," said Hamilton.

They’re typically not really active in the summer time either, when it’s hot. Usually it’s in the springtime and the fall when they’ve got their young and they’re out looking for food.” 

Lake County’s already rolled out 860 of the carts in the last two years, bought with a grant from FWC. About 1,700 households will have bear resistant carts once they’re all rolled out. The carts cost $40 each and come in 95 gallon and 65 gallon sizes.