Bears and Trash

The Deadly Link Between Bears and Trash

There is a direct link between easily available unsecured trash and bears coming into town. Besides making a tremendous mess by  strewning trash across alleyways, as bears become habituated to eating trash and teaching their cubs to eat trash instead of foraging in their natural habit they become “nuisance” bears and are targeted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to be relocated (“Strike 1”) and killed (“Strike 2”) if they return and continue to eat trash. Because of the CPW’s policy to kill bears that are habituated to eating trash, it is imperative that our community take proactive steps to secure our trash. For more information on this and other state policies, go to Colorado Wildlife Management.

Boulder Bear Coalition’s beginning work focused on University Hill and the tremendous problem of bears and trash, video taken Fall 2011:

Trash Hauling Choices

In our early days of problem-solving the trash and bear problem, we made the important discovery that Boulder does not have a contract with any one trash hauling company. This means that residents can choose from a variety of waste disposal haulers and either choose to (1) lease trash and compost carts directly from the hauler in addition to paying for hauling of trash (as with Western Disposal) or (2) purchase your own carts and only pay for hauling of trash (as with One-Way, Inc.) Note: compost and recycling are included for all haulers in the city of Boulder.

Choices of trash haulers in Boulder:
Western Disposal Services 
One-Way, Inc.
Keep Magnolia Clean, LLC 
Republic Services
Waste Management


Bear Resistant Containers

If you decide to purchase your own trash and compost carts, there are several Bear-Resistant Containers to choose from. Depending on stock, you can find several varieties locally at McGuckin Hardware, and Home Depot. One-Way, Inc also has a variety of styles and sizes available for purchase. If you have trouble finding one, contact us and we will be happy to help. note: the following prices are approximate and may not include tax or shipping

BearSaver 32g: $161
BearSaver 64g: $196
BearSaver 95g: $207
Toter 64g and 96g
BEARicuda Basic: 20g and 30g
BEARicuda Stealth: 64g and 96g
BearLock 20g and 30g
Bear Proof Containers 


Trash Enforcement

If you have a neighbor who is not storing their trash properly and it is at risk at attracting a bear, please use the following, easy to use app to report the incident:

On your PC: Inquire Boulder
On your phone: Inquire Boulder  
Or call non-emergency code enforcement: 303 441-3333 (report can be made anonymously)


Boulder Trash Ordinances

Due to the majority of bear-trash issues occurring along the foothills of Boulder, in March 2014 the city of Boulder implemented a new Bear Protection Ordinance where all residential and commercial properties  in the Bear Protection Ordinance Zone, are required to use bear resistant carts or dumpsters for trash and compost.

Ordinance for Storage of Trash outside of the Bear Protection Ordinance Zone prohibits storing trash in a way that makes it accessible to wildlife and curbside pick-up cannot be left out before 5 a.m. the morning of collection.


 Boulder Bear Coalition Continues their Trash Patrol, FOX NEWS

POSTED 8:26 AM, SEPTEMBER 30, 2015, BY JIM HOOLEY, UPDATED AT 07:18PM, SEPTEMBER 30, 2015