Garbage management is an integral part of avoiding conflicts with bears. Bears that obtain meals regularly from landfills may soon become a nuisance because they depend on man for their food and lose fear of humans.
“Garbage dump” bears can begin feeding in dumpsters and residential garbage cans when landfills and dumps no longer supply a dependable source of food.
These bears are more likely to be removed from the population because this undesirable behavior is very difficult to change.
Landfills located in occupied bear habitat should be managed to discourage bears from using them as a food source. When possible, the perimeter of landfills should be enclosed within bear-resistant fences.
Landfill operators should maintain a small face of exposed garbage and completely cover it with a deep layer of dirt. This reduces odors and makes it difficult for bears to feed.
The BBCC Conflict Management Team is available to advise the public on aversive conditioning programs to deter bears from garbage.
Homeowners and campers in or near occupied bear habitat should avoid attracting bears by dumping wastes in closed containers located away from their homes or campsites. Discarded food wrappers, including candy bars, soft drink cans and pastry wrappings,are attractants and should not be thrown on the ground. The best thing to do is what not to do: DON’T LITTER!
Efforts should be made to secure all garbage containers or deposit all edible wastes in separate containers that are stored where bears cannot gain access. Contact your state wildlife agency or the BBCC to learn more about the availability of bear-resistant garbage cans.
Efforts should be made to secure all garbage containers or deposit all edible wastes in separate containers that are stored where bears cannot gain access.