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City of Boulder considers bear-resistant garbage cans

10:23 AM, Jan 30, 2014   |    comments
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BOULDER - In 2013, three bears were killed by cars in Boulder and four bears were killed by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife due to public safety concerns.

Because of the ongoing problem of bears digging through trash throughout several neighborhoods in Boulder, the city is now considering an ordinance requiring residents to use bear-resistant garbage cans.

Right now, the Boulder City Council is focusing on zone one: south of Wonderland Lake, west of Broadway Street and north of Greenbriar Boulevard. Boulder City Council leaders will vote on the ordinance during public hearings in February and mid-March. If passed the policy will be implemented in the spring.

The purpose of these new cans is to secure trash and curbside compost from bears.

Experts say bears reliant on human-generated food become used to humans and lose their natural fear of people, causing them to spend more time in town and ultimately increasing their risk of mortality.

Bear resistant garbage cans may look the same as regular cans but they're made from stronger material. The plastic is three to four times thicker than normal garbage cans and the lids are reinforced with steel.

Each bear resistant can is also certified, meaning it has been through a grizzly bear test which places a bear with a can for an hour to see if it can break in. If the bear couldn't break into the can the can is certified.

Because the bear resistant cans are expensive, the Boulder is hoping to establish a fund to provide financial assistance for low-income residents required to obtain the new cans if the ordinance is passed.

If the ordinance passes, residents will be charged a $250 fee if they don't comply with the new rule.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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