Living in Bear Country & Need a New Garbage Bin? 4 Things to Consider

Whether you're investing in a new garbage bin or renting a dumpster from a local dealer, if you live in bear country you might want to do some research before you open your wallet. Below are four items to consider before making that all-important garbage catch-all decision. Also included are some steps to make that bin less enticing to bears and other pesky critters.

Flipped Lids Make Things More Accessible

For easiest access, choose a garbage container that that has a hinged lid that folds back all the way. Then it's a matter of flipping the lid and tossing the garbage into the fully revealed space. The hinged lid also gives easier access for washing out the bin. Models that have rounded corners and smooth sides often just need a quick hose-out once in a while. There are no seams where dirt and grime can collect, reducing the amount of scrubbing involved. Always using a trash bag liner keeps your cleaning chores to a minimum. If you are renting a dumpster, the bin is likely to be larger. Many have split lids. Depending on the contract, you'll probably not have to worry about cleaning it out.

Wheels Keep Things Moving Right Along

Why heft a heavy container when you can roll it along on wheels? Wheeled garbage bins come in all shapes, sizes and in several colors. The best have large wheels, some up to 8 inches in diameter, that are tucked right under the bin to support the weight. The placement also keeps the wheels out of the way of your knees and feet, minimizing the chance of "toe meets wheel" collisions. The bin should be easy to haul along a driveway or sidewalk or to maneuver up and down steps or curbs.

Some manufacturers now make garbage bins that are not only durable but totally recyclable. Again, the larger dumpster rentals do tend to have wheels, but you most likely won't have to move them around. They are usually placed in a spot that is easily accessible for periodic emptying or haul-out once the bin is filled.

Local By-Laws Make Things Neighbor Friendly

Some cities or homeowner association by-laws spell out the type of garbage bins residents may have. This is often the case in planned neighborhoods that govern the color of the houses, the types of vegetation in your front yard, even the type of sidewalk. The idea is to create a look of uniformity, which means your choice of garbage bin might be limited to certain colors, sizes and shapes.

Also advise the homeowner association if you are renting a large dumpster for use during renovation or other clean up projects. You may need a permit to store the bin in the driveway or curbside. In either scenario, it's best to check with your homeowner association just to be sure.

Bear Resistant Bins Make Things Critter Unfriendly

Another consideration is buying a bin that can keep the local wildlife from turning your garbage into a block party picnic. In suburban areas you'll most likely deal with raccoons and squirrels as well as stray dogs and cats. Head further out from the city and you can add bears to the list. Your best protection is to select a bin that has a sturdy, teeth-proof, locking lid. If you live in bear country, you might consider using a welded steel bin rather than one made out of heavy duty plastic. Bear resistant dumpsters are quite sturdy and usually made of steel. Other steps you can take to make your dumpster less enticing to bears and their equally opportunistic critter cousins include:

  • Freezing any food scraps and placing them in the bin on collection day.
  • Double bagging your garbage before tossing it into the bin. Spray bags with ammonia or a similar substance to mask any odors.
  • If possible, keep your garbage bin inside your garage or in an enclosed storage area until the day of collection.

To learn more, contact services like Peterson's Service Corp.