Bears in residential garbage cans are an ongoing problem for many Valley cities. The city of North Bend, under contract with Republic Services, is now offering a 96-gallon wildlife resistant container in some areas of the service area. Call (206) 682-9735 for more details on the wildlife resistant containers.
While there is no such thing as a receptacle that is 100 percent bear-proof, the best containers will have tight-sealing lids and doors to reduce odors, strong hinges and latches that cannot be pried open by bear claws (f it can be opened with a crowbar, it can be opened by a bear), and made of strong, corrosion-resistant materials that bears cannot chew through or crush.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offers these tips to protect your garbage from wildlife:
• If you have a pickup service, put garbage out shortly before the truck arrives; not the night before.
• If you are leaving several days before pickup, haul your garbage to a dump.
• Keep garbage cans with tight-fitting lids in a shed, garage or fenced area.
• Spray garbage cans and dumpsters regularly with disinfectants to reduce odors.
• Keep fish parts and meat waste in your freezer until they can be disposed of properly.
Safety information for living with black bears is posted on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living.