Wakulla County residents will now be able to keep their garbage safe from bears in the area, thanks to a grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The grant provides nearly $20,000 for bear-resistant trash cans with metal rings, designed to make it harder for bears to get into garbage.
“These are to help reduce human bear conflicts,” said Nanette Watts, Wakulla County director of Public Works. “We’re just trying to make it easier for the residents that are having bear problems to have fewer of those problems.”
Beginning next Friday, Wakulla County residents can sign up and pay for the new trash cans.
Residents will be charged a $25 fee for the cans, which will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. Waste Pro will also wave the $72 annual fee.
The program is intended to help reduce the amount of human and bear conflicts in the area by keeping the animals out of garbage bins and away from homes. Residents reported that bears have done damage to their homes and cars, and left trash from the garbage cans on lawns and driveways.
“To say that anything is bear proof is kind of a joke because bears will just eat through the side if they want it bad enough,” said Watts. “But this will make it much harder for them to get in.”
The county currently has 120 cans, and is expecting them to go fast.