The long-awaited bear resistant trash bins are now being rolled out to Whitefish residents, just in time for heightened bear activity in the fall. The City of Whitefish hopes all the animal-resistant cans will be in use by the end of November.
Whitefish is preparing for the transition to individual 95-gallon bear-resistant refuse containers for all single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes and some commercial properties.
The delivery of the new carts began on Monday, Sept. 12, and the city says it will take months to fully switch all residents over to the new system.
“The change-out process will take several months to complete and your patience is greatly appreciated,” the city states in a press release.
The City will be divided into four quadrants with each quadrant broken down into three or four sections. Each section will have a date of when garbage carts will be placed. Property owners can view the map on the city’s website to identify where their property lies and receive updated information regarding the schedule for delivery.
Republic Services will be dropping off new containers and picking up current individual roll-out carts or 300-gallon shared containers at the same time.
New bins are to be placed within 2 feet of the curb or in the alley the night before or by 7 a.m. on pickup day and must be placed at least 4 feet from obstacles preventing collection, including other carts.
The service location will be the same spot the cart is delivered to. For some, this is in the alley. For others, it is on the street.
An additional fee will be charged for items placed outside the cart but if items are placed on top of the lid, the trash will not be collected. Additionally, the city says carts need to be placed so they can be opened toward the street or alley. Carts placed incorrectly by the curb will not be collected.
Each new cart will have a postcard attached to the lid with instructions for placement and how to use the bear-resistant trash cart. If residents leave for the winter season and have not received their new bear-resistant trash container, please contact the city at (406) 863-2456, and press option no. 2.
In early March council held a work session to discuss the possibility of a mandatory bear-resistant container program for all residential garbage services. The matter was then put on the agenda for May 2, and the city signed an amended agreement with Republic Services.
The city hopes to have them all delivered by the end of November.
The City of Columbia Falls recently instated an emergency bear ordinance, also stating that they have increased bear activity in city limits. Although Columbia Falls has not made the switch to bear-proof trash cans, they are ordering residents to keep trash indoors among other things to help prevent human-bear incidents.
For more information on the Whitefish’s bear-resistant containers visit cityofwhitefish.org