Inexpensive Ways to Keep Bears Out of Your Trash

Inexpensive Ways to Keep Bears Out of your trash

Are you looking for inexpensive ways to keep those pesky bears out of your trash can?

Bears in northwest Florida are out of hibernation – and they are hungry! 

That means we are likely due for photos and videos from deer cameras or phone cameras on social media of local bears rummaging through our trash carts. 

Most websites or businesses would tell you “build an expensive fence for your trash cans” or “use electric fencing” – but not all of use have a couple thousand dollars to drop on something like that. 

But, just because it’s more likely to happen at this time of year doesn’t mean it has to happen to you. 

Here are 7 inexpensive ways to keep bears out of your trash!

how can i keep bears out of my trash can or cart?

Inexpensive Tip number 1: Clean Your Grill (🎶Clean, Clean ya Grillz)

Did you have a bar-b-que or cookout recently?

As you might have guessed, bears can smell that cookin’ from a long ways away. They are often late to these parties (after all, like some introverts, humans make them nervous) but they do eventually show up.

In order to make sure you don’t have any late, uninvited guests – clean the fats oils and grease off your Big Green Egg, Weber or Napoleon Grill.

As an unintended result, you may have a ‘happy wife, happy life’ situation spring up from the clean and orderly way the patio is left behind after a fiesta as well!

Free Advice Number 2: Rinse and Repeat

Bears are attracted to your home by scents. (we will probably mention that about 340,439 times in this article).

That means the more food and drink smells you can get out of your trash, the more your house will look like a scary human-fortress and less it will look like a ‘Bear-ger King’.

Rinse off all of the plasticware, cans and bottles you trash before you throw them away.

By rinsing them off, the less there is to smell. The less there is to smell – the less the bears will want to be there.

No Cost Idea Number 3: Remove Hummingbird Feeders

If you’ve ever seen a Winnie the Pooh cartoon – you know that bears love sweet foods. It may not be honey, but bears in our area love the sugar-water mix that gets put inside of hummingbird feeders.

If you know there is a bear living in your area – that means it is time to take down your bird feeders.

Bears are attracted to these items. If you don’t take them down, they will only start exploring more once they are on your property.

Inexpensive Tip Number 4: Don't Store Trash Outside or on the Deck of your House

It can be tempting to store your trash cart on the side of the house, on your deck, or somewhere else outside.

But, you should really consider storing it indoors if possible.

Now, we know, trash cans can smell awful, especially in Summer.

And we are willing to bet that’s a major reason you don’t want to do something like that.

Never fear – we have put together several ways you can eliminate the stink from your cart.

Free-99 Idea Number 5: Use Each Bear Encounter as a Learning Lesson.

If you have a deer camera, or another way to safely watch what the bear is doing when it pays you a visit, watch the video.

Typically, you will be able to spot what it is the bear is doing to get into your trash easily, as well as what it wants.

Once you find out what the bear is after, you can eliminate that temptation for the marsupial.

(sorry, had to use the word ‘marsupial’ once)

Idea Number 6: Lock it up

The best way you can reduce the risk of our woodland friends going through your banana peels and soda bottles is by signing up with Adams Sanitation.

Adams Sanitation gives you two superior ways to reduce the chance that a bear is going to break into your trash.

First off, we come by with our twice-weekly service to pick up your trash. The less time the trash is on your property, the fewer chances the bear has to pick through it.

Secondly, you can sign up for our optional bear locks for your trash cart.

For just $2 a month, you can have the peace of mind that a bear will get tired of trying to open a lock without a key (or thumbs)!

All you have to do is tell us you want bear locks added to

Inexpensive Way Number 7: Put out Carts As Close As You Can to Pick Up Time

Adams Sanitation pickup times can vary as our routes change regularly.

This means that we must ask you to place your cart out for pickup before 6am the day of pickup.

If you are experiencing issues with bears, please place your trash out for pickup as close to 6am as possible.

Christopher Saul - Chief Impact Officer at Adams Sanitation

Christopher Saul manages the Adams Sanitation Blog and writes the lion’s share of the content for Friendliest Little Garbage Company Around’s website and social media. When he isn’t slinging hot garbage for Adams Sanitation, he spends time with his wife and two kids. 

Christopher can’t resist a good dad joke. Just know that most, if not all, of the puns on Adams Sanitation website are his and will stay up until they are reported to the boss for being so bad they are good. 

Adams Sanitation Service in Pensacola?

Adams Sanitation Service in Pensacola? Here’s What Happened. So, you might have heard from Jim Little’s story in the Pensacola News Journal earlier this week that the City of Pensacola announced a 14% increase in trash hauling prices.  Naturally, we at Adams Sanitation thought this price increase was worth a closer look. Pensacola’s city-operated services are more expensive than ours on a per pick-up basis and this latest increase will drive up prices for their once-weekly service even more! Heck, they don’t even pick up bulk items.  Long story short – it sounded like the potential that government inefficiency was giving the taxpayers a pretty raw deal.  So, we took one of our trucks down to Pensacola City Hall to make our case. Before that – we were able to get with a local television news station about the issue. We explained that the customers of Pensacola probably deserve better than a 14% increase in price at the beginning of a recession – and that we hoped that we might be able to get the Pensacola City Council to consider privatizing an inefficient and unpopular government department – which currently spends more money than it brings in.  Pensacola Press Release on Trash Cost Increase Talking Trash With the Pensacola City Council The Cliff’s Notes on this meeting are important – and we definitely didnt know what we were signing up for by attending the meeting. Finally, after approximately four hours of policy and procedure on everything from disability ramps to micromobility scooters (which is all important!) we were able to plead our case for private trash service to the women and men of the Pensacola City Council.    Here’s what we said – in written and video form! Good evening Mr. President, Mr. Mayor, Council members,   My wife and I are longtime admirers and regular visitors to your wonderful community. As the CRA chair within the City of Crestview, I have particular admiration for your thriving downtown district. Amenties like Wahoos Stadium and events like gallery night speak well to the long way the city has come in the last 20 years. This evening, however, I am here on behalf of Adams Sanitation. Adams is a growing waste management company with operations in Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. Having carefully reviewed the Sanitation Rate Study and Business Plan supporting the pending rate increase proposal, I felt it important to share an industry perspective before you make your decision.   I believe strongly in the value of local government. Cities and counties perform important functions that the private sector is poorly suited to provide. No one wants for-profit police or parks. However, I believe equally strongly that there are services the private sector is better equipped to provide. Having reviewed your rate and service model, I can say unequivocally that Adams Sanitation could match your current service levels at your current pricing, and do so while delivering high customer service and earning a fair profit without the proposed rate increase you’ll discuss tonight.  However, I am not here to pitch Adams Sanitation. Instead, I’d simply like to suggest the study you are relying on is insufficient in its scope for an informed decision. The consultant didn’t evaluate the department’s efficiency or performance compared to other municipal solid waste services. Additionally,  the scope of the report did not allow for the benchmarking of the department against the private sector.  The only thing this report did do was quantify how much more money your citizens would need to pay in order to maintain the status quo.  It’s a bleak status quo, too. One which involves a department operating at a financial loss. One where less than 70% of customers rate the department with 4 or 5 stars.  As a private enterprise, we are driven to operate efficiently so as to be profitable while maintaining excellent customer service. Indeed, in our last customer survey over 88% of respondents awarded our team with 4 or 5 stars. Again, the point here is that for you to be able to make a fully informed decision, a more thorough comparison of alternatives is required.  There are many options to be explored and no shortage of competitors within the market to make proposals. It could be that a hybrid system is most appropriate with the City maintaining those portions of the operation that it truly excels at. Maybe that’s picking up yard waste collection as they do in the City of Niceville or maybe it is some other variation. It is also entirely possible that after a thorough analysis this Council makes the decision to raise rates and maintain the status quo. However, without a broader analysis, I am not sure that citizens can have confidence in the decision to raise rates so drastically.  Should the City decide to re-evaluate and seek input from the industry, our team would certainly be honored to participate in that conversation. Again, thank you for the opportunity to address you this evening and thank you for your service. I am well aware that it can often be a thankless role.    The Results Of Our Discussion With The Pensacola City Council About Trash, Garbage and Waste Hauling Will the City of Pensacola use Adams Sanitation to pick up trash in the immediate future?  Probably not. In our humble estimation – it looks like only one of the members of the Pensacola City Council seemed agreeable to the idea that a privitazation change should be made.  That’s ok though – because we accomplished our objective! We went down to Pensacola City Hall with the goal to protect the pocketbooks of our neighbors in Pensacola – especially during these trying times. That message definitely did not fall on deaf ears. The City Council decided to delay their decision on price increases until August the 18th.  As far as we are concerned – that’s a win.

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