TAVARES — Lake County is continuing its bear-resistant garbage cart program, and has received another batch of specialized carts available for county residents living in areas with the most reported human-bear interactions.
The carts, purchased through a $85,508 Florida Fish & Wildlife (FWC) grant, are offered at a discounted price of $40, and can be purchased on a first-come, first served basis This year’s grant also allowed the county to make available both 95-gallon and more compact 65-gallon carts. Lake County Solid Waste staff provides delivery of a new bear-resistant cart in exchange for the resident’s existing county trash cart. To request a bear-resistant cart, residents may call at 352-343-3776.
“Summer is the ideal time order carts, as bears become most active during the upcoming fall months,” said Mary Hamilton, Environmental Services Manager. “We encourage all residents, whether or not they live in areas with large populations of Florida black bears, to be bear-wise and practice the safe disposal of trash.”
Residents should be aware of their surroundings to avoid potential conflicts with bears, and follow Lake County’s ordinance that requires trash to be kept secure. To keep bears away from homes, follow these tips from FWC:
• Secure household garbage in a sturdy shed, garage or a bear-resistant container.
• Put household garbage out on the morning of pickup rather than the night before.
• Protect gardens, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
• Encourage your homeowners’ association or local government to institute ordinances on keeping foods that attract wildlife secure.
• Feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding outdoors.
• Clean grills and store them in a secure place.
• Remove wildlife feeders or make them bear-resistant.
• Pick ripe fruit from trees and remove fallen fruit from the ground.