In 2021, the City of Asheville implemented a program to provide bear-resistant trash carts to residents. There are a limited number of carts available each year and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum of 2 per household.

  • Carts are 95-gallons (same size as regular large green trash carts) and weigh 45 lbs (~10 lbs heavier than regular trash carts)
  • There is a $10/month/cart up-charge for the use of a bear cart. This fee will be added to your regular solid waste fee, which is part of your water bill.
  • Residents must commit to a minimum of a one-year rental for the bear carts.
  • The bear-resistant carts are to be used for trash only (not recycling or yard waste).
  • The bear carts are ‘fully automated’, which means they will stay locked when the lid is closed.  The carts will open when the truck empties them.  Residents will access a special latch to unlock the lid.  The latch does require some manual dexterity to operate.
  • Residents must agree to not modify, alter, or otherwise damage the bear-resistant carts in any way.
  • Once a bear resistant cart is received, if a resident moves they are not permitted to take the cart with them. Carts should remain at the property; not move with the resident. Arrangements can be made for a bear resistant cart to be delivered to the new address if within City service area – call 828-259-5857 to arrange.

Get on the waiting list

To get on the waiting list for a bear-resistant trash cart, please fill out this form.

Register Your Own Bear Cart

If you have a privately-owned bear cart, you must have it approved and registered by the Sanitation Division. Not all bear carts will function well with our collection system. Additionally, the City is not responsible for any loss or damage to privately-owned bear carts that may occur during the course of normal service.

Click here to register your privately-owned bear cart.

Contact Information

For general information about living responsibly and safely with bears, visit

Sanitation Division – 828-259-5857 –

Updated 6/5/2024