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Discounted bear-resistant trash cans

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Seminole County are teaming up to provide bear-resistant trash cans to county residents at discounted rates. The FWC awarded Seminole County a $200,000 BearWise grant to help reduce prices for residents living within the Urban Bear Management Area (west of Interstate 4).

“Eliminating food sources, such as garbage, is the single most important thing people can do to reduce conflicts with bears as Florida’s bear population continues to grow,” said Mike Orlando, assistant coordinator of the FWC’s Black Bear Management Program. “If all residents in a neighborhood secure their trash using cans like these, there should be a dramatic decrease in the amount of bears present in the neighborhood, which is best for both bears and people.”

Seminole County will begin accepting applications to purchase 64-gallon bear-resistant garbage containers at discounted prices beginning today. Applicants who may not be able to afford bear-resistant garbage cans may be eligible to receive a bear-resistant can at no cost.

When the grant funding is exhausted, the discounts will be discontinued. Applications and guidelines may be downloaded at BearAwareSeminole.com.

The FWC’s BearWise funding program provides funding to communities and counties to help ensure Floridians have the resources necessary to properly secure their garbage. The FWC is distributing $825,000 to 11 counties to become more “BearWise” by providing bear-resistant equipment and other methods to reduce conflicts.

In addition to securing trash, there are other steps you can take to keep bears away from your home and neighborhood:

  • Protect gardens, beehives, compost and livestock with electric fencing.
  • Feed pets indoors or bring in dishes after feeding.
  • 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.

It is illegal in Florida to intentionally feed bears or leave out food or garbage that will attract bears and cause human-bear conflicts.

More information is available at MyFWC.com/Bear, where you can access the “Guide to Living in Bear Country” brochure.

For more information on the program providing discounted bear-resistant trash cans to Seminole County residents, visit BearAwareSeminole.com.

Help the FWC help bears and other wildlife by purchasing the “Conserve Wildlife” license plate at BuyaPlate.com.