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Whitefish one step closer to bear-resistant garbage containers

Black Bears Garbage
Posted at 9:59 AM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 12:02:29-04

WHITEFISH - A recent City Council vote has paved the way for bear-resistant garbage containers in Whitefish.

“Implementing these cans is going to really reduce the potential for bear and human conflicts,” Whitefish City Manager Dana Smith tells MTN News.

The Whitefish City Council recently approved a rate increase of roughly $6.50 a month for residents to fully equip the city with bear-resistant garbage containers.

“If you already have a 95-gallon container, we will just be transitioning to a bear-resistant version of that. They’re automatic opening containers, so the truck actually has a mechanism that opens the containers. You don’t have to unlock it, which is great,” said Smith.

Smith said the new contract with garbage provider Republic Services could go into effect as early as late August.

“Fall will be right around that corner there and the bears really start looking for food before they go back to their dens, so we’re still hopeful for that date, we have a meeting next week as we still work with Republic Services on that transition period,” Smith said.

Smith said restricting that food source for bears makes downtown Whitefish just that much safer.

“Hoping that it deters bears from coming into town, into the neighborhoods, so that when you’re out walking on a trail you don’t have to worry about carrying bear spray in town," added Smith.