Carbondale trash rule aimed at bear concerns |

Carbondale trash rule aimed at bear concerns

Janet Urquhart/The Aspen TimesLocking trash containers, already in use in Aspen, may be next for Carbondale residents. While the town mulls rules for securing trash in response to recent bear problems, it has already enacted an emergency ordinance prohibiting the placement of trash outside for pick-up before the day the hauler is scheduled to pick it up.

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Residents in Carbondale are no longer allowed to put their trash out on the curb the night before pick-up, in an effort to address recent bear problems.

The Carbondale Board of Trustees on Tuesday passed an emergency ordinance changing the time in which trash may be placed outside for pick-up.

Effective immediately, trash may only be put out from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on the day it’s picked up.

“You may no longer place your trash outside the evening before your scheduled pick-up day,” the town stated in a press release.

“The new hours are a preventive approach to address wildlife issues in local neighborhoods,” the release stated. “This is especially important while bears are foraging for food before they hibernate.”

Trustees considered waiting until proposed broader revisions to the town’s trash ordinance could be reviewed and adopted.

The revised ordinance, which also includes a new billing structure to encourage recycling, may also include language requiring the use of bear-proof containers or enclosures for trash that is permanently kept outside.

However, the new ordinance will take about a month to review, including discussions between the town’s Environmental Board and waste haulers, before it comes before the trustees.

Bears are expected to be going into hibernation by early November.

Colorado Division of Wildlife Manager John Groves reported to the Carbondale board in late August that the town is experiencing more bear activity than normal this year.

Groves urged then that residents keep their trash inside until trash day, or otherwise use bear-proof containers.

The DOW also advises that pet food should not be left outside and that outdoor barbecue grills be cleaned after use.

“Garbage is the big one, though” Groves said at the time. “Once bears get used to an easy source, the cycle keeps going and then we have problem bears.”

He also advised that if someone runs across a bear in their yard or neighborhood, “give them space, talk to them and try to look big.”

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