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. 

We Took A Trash Truck to A Daycare Not every day you get to visit a daycare with a trash truck.  Our Customer Service Manager, Nat Mize, gave a short presentation to a group of three and four year olds at the Early Learning Coalition in Gulf Breeze in March. (She’s been talking about it for the better part of two weeks – she was just as excited as the kiddos she talked to about recycling and landfills!)   These kids were prepared. Like super prepared. When we (Facebook guy Christopher went to take photos and video) showed up – the kids had created a cardboard recycling truck with our logo on the side – complete with wheels and everything!    Nat talked to the kids about the importance of reducing the materials we use when we can, re-using and repurposing the other things we use, and recycling what we can.    We even got to take them on a virtual drone tour of the Santa Rosa County landfill in East Milton!    The kids learned about how much trash we make on a daily basis (about ten pounds per person!) and how we get it to the landfill!   The kids listen while Adams Sanitation Customer Service Manager Nat Mize teaches them about recycling and landfills. The kids of Mrs. Bri’s class smile in front of a Adams Sanitation Baby Garbage Truck! Trash Q and A The kids then asked questions about all sorts of things – they were pretty curious about the trash world! Here’s just a little sample of what they asked: Do trash workers get used to the smell? Yes, they do. There are some people who try the job and realize it is a dealbreaker (it does smell bad, after all) – but most of the trash truck drivers and their helpers (called jumpers) get used to the smell after a couple of days.  Did you always want to work at a trash company? The short answer is no! Most of the members of the Adams Sanitaiton team are in the trash industry as their second or even third industry! But that diverse experiential background means we have really good ideas and opinions on making the industry even better! Where does the trash go? Our trash in Santa Rosa County goes to the Santa Rosa County Lanfill 99.99% of the time. Every once in a while – trash from Adams Sanitation ends up at the Baker Transfer station next door in Okaloosa County.  What should the French National Government do about the waste workers strike that’s taken place for more than a week now? We’re kidding, they didn’t ask that one. Honestly, we’d be in a pinch if they did!  Do you pick up the trash and recycling together? A lot of adults ask us this one, too! We do not pick up the trash and recycling together. Furthermore, our recycling goes to the recycling sorting station in northern Escambia County.    After that – we took the kids out for the best part – seeing an actual (mini) trash truck (that we cleaned thoroughly)!  The kids response was great! They loved the trash truck, listened well and had a good time learning about what we do! We had a great time and hope they did, too!   Nat goes for a ride in Adams Sanitation’s newest trash truck – supplied by the kids at the Early Learning Coalition

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Dump Fees Are Up – Here’s What That Means For Your Trash Bill

Dump Fees Are Up – Here’s What That Means For Your Trash Bill Bottom line up front: Santa Rosa County has voted to increase the cost of dumping trash at the county landfill, which will result in a slight increase in trash service costs. However, Adams Sanitation will not raise rates until their annual increase next year, and the Santa Rosa County landfill is still significantly less expensive than neighboring counties. The increase will cost Adams Sanitation approximately $6,000 per month, but they plan to absorb the cost this year without raising customer rates. Santa Rosa County’s commissioners took a 3-1 vote to raise the cost of dumping trash at the county landfill in February, which means we will all have to end up paying a little bit more to get trash service or to run a trash business.  But there are some critical takeaways from the decision we want you to know about: 🙅 Adams Sanitation will NOT raise your trash rates over this until our annual increase subsequent January 💰It will cost us about $6,000 per month MORE to dump trash every month 💵 The Santa Rosa County Landfill is still significantly LESS EXPENSIVE than taking trash to our disposal facilities in neighboring counties.  🗣️ Tell your friends and neighbors about our excellent service! The more people who sign up with us, the more we can spread costs and keep your rates down! A sky view above the Santa Rosa County Landfill in East Milton. No rate increase right now for Adams Sanitation Customers. Last year, we had to raise rates mid-year due to a doubling of diesel costs. At the same time, this increase in dump fees is not put-us-out-of-business-if-we-don’t-raise-rates bad. We are going to absorb the costs this year. Our team has already had several meetings to determine how we will do that, but it’s been made clear it won’t be through raising your monthly rate.  The total cost for this increase is about 50 cents per customer and household per month and may impact our rate calculator next year. What this costs us The good news is that we can absorb the cost of the increased dump fees for the year. The bad news is that the increased cost will work out to about $50,000 this year alone – a lot of money for a small business like ours to absorb. The Santa Rosa County landfill is significantly less expensive than everyone else’s When we heard we were about to receive a bill of an extra $50,000 from the county, we did what any other red-blooded American would do when faced with a stressful situation – we shopped and price compared.  Believe me when I tell you, despite the price increase, we still have it pretty good in Santa Rosa County. Over in Okaloosa County, the cost to dump the same ton of trash is $75. To take our trash over there, we’d need to charge about an additional $6 per month plus the cost of diesel and labor. That stuff adds up quickly – and we’d soon be forced to charge exorbitant rates just to come and get your trash.  To the west, the Perdido Landfill charges $45.06 per ton, currently $3.00 more per ton than in Santa Rosa County – only six months more. But once you add in the $52 for diesel and $50+ for labor costs, you’re looking at another pretty steep price hike for the same service.  While we’re not thrilled about losing money to this price increase, it could be a lot worse – so, a little bit of a silver lining there. What can be done to keep costs down? The good news is that some factors are keeping our costs down this year! Diesel prices have dropped some as we have matured as a business.  We have been able to keep people around longer term at Adams Sanitation – which means we are running more efficiently. Our labor costs have dropped a bit because we are not constantly looking for new employees, burning them out with overtime, or paying more for overtime work (yay!).  We are also growing! More and more people are signing up daily to get the best trash service in town! That means we can increase our routes’ density- making us more efficient. The more efficient we are, the lower we can keep our prices while still paying decent wages for a (very) hard day of work and making a fair profit.  We still need help, though. If you feel that we’ve earned it – tell your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family about the high level of service you get from Adams Sanitation. The more people we get to serve, the better off our customers, our local employees, and our small business!

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