VAIL — Residents are being asked to be diligent about keeping their garbage stored properly now that bear season is underway. The Vail Police Department’s first bear report of the season was taken this week after a bear cub was hit and killed by a vehicle west of the post office.
During the next few weeks, the Vail Police Department will be increasing enforcement of existing year-round ordinances to deter bears from accessing easy-to-find food sources. Since 2007, all curbside trash customers in Vail have been required to use wildlife-resistant containers. In addition, commercial establishments, multi-family complexes and construction sites are required to use enclosures and/or wildlife-proof containers. Also, the placement of curbside containers is restricted to the assigned pick-up day and only during daylight hours under provisions of the dawn to dusk ordinance.
In 2013, the Vail Police Department issued five citations and 320 warnings for wildlife related violations. For 2014, as of March 31, there have been two citations and 83 warnings. Residents are reminded that bear-resistant containers are compliant only if they are closed and latched properly. For example, if a container has two latches and only one is latched, then it is not bear-resistant and a summons will be issued.
Residents also are reminded to avoid overstuffing their containers or placing food-related garbage next to the container. Also, an address must be listed on the can to meet provisions of the town’s wildlife protection ordinance. Customers who currently recycle using the 18 gallon, open top containers are reminded to rinse containers thoroughly and only place the containers at the curb on the day of pickup between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. As of July 1, curbside recycling containers will need to be wildlife-resistant as well.
To avoid bear conflicts at a residence or business, the Vail Police Department offers these tips:
• Never store garbage, recyclables or pet food on porches.
• Keep barbecue grills and outdoor furniture clean.
• Keep bird feeders out of reach of wildlife and bring them in at night.
• Keep ground-floor windows and doors closed and locked.
For more information, call the police department at 970-479-2200 or visit the town’s website at www.vailgov.com.