Urban bears prowling for a trashcan meal may have to resort to berries in some sections of the City. Following the successful rollout of Asheville Sanitation’s bear-resistant trash cart pilot program in January with 340 initial carts, another 300 of them are now being delivered to residents on the waiting list.
An item approved by Asheville City Council in November 2020 amended the City’s Fees & Charges schedule to allow the Sanitation Division to provide bear-resistant trash carts for a $10 a month fee on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents who sign up for the carts agree to a one-year rental commitment.
The initial order of bear-resistant trash carts was funded from the Sanitation Division’s Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Operating Budget. When the 2021-2022 Operating Budget was approved Sanitation was able to purchase 300 more carts — all that was available from the manufacturer at this time.
“More than a third of the calls that the N.C. Wildlife Resources receives about bears statewide come from Buncombe County,” said City Sanitation Manager Jes Foster. “Asheville residents are experiencing an increase in human-bear interactions and there are safety risks associated with these increasing issues.”
Securing garbage is identified as one of the top ways to reduce human-bear interactions and resulting problems. Eliminate the food source and the bear usually moves on. Asheville residents have frequently requested that the City provide bear-resistant trash carts and we are excited to be able to deliver on this request.
The bear-resistant trash carts are 95 gallons (same size as regular large green trash carts) and weigh 45 pounds (10 pounds heavier than regular trash carts). They are for trash only, not recyclables or yard waste.
Want a bear-resistant cart?
While this latest delivery of 300 carts put a big dent in our waiting list, Asheville Sanitation continues to get requests for the bear-resistant trash carts. Please visit ashevillenc.gov/bearcart to sign up for future bear-resistant carts as we have funds to buy them and they become available. Or call the Sanitation office at 828-259-5857.