The solution to bears in garbage includes both personal responsibility and action by the municipality. I live on Baxter Bog, and last summer the sow with three cubs came through my yard twice. I called the muni code violations office to report that throughout the neighborhood people put their garbage cans out early, and many weren’t storing cans securely despite having garages. The muni representative told me I would have to report each individual address that was in violation, despite my complaint that there were over 50 garbage cans out early within four blocks.
It not only frustrates me that my neighbors do not handle their trash properly, but also that the muni does not enforce its own code, even when a citizen complains. If the muni regularly ticketed garbage cans that were out a day early, people would put their garbage out the morning of pickup. And if the muni ticketed homes where garbage is improperly stored, that would help even more.
We won’t need bear-proof bins if everyone acts responsibly, including the muni.
— Diane Hirshberg