Trash rule seeks to minimize bear attractants

The city’s new single-stream recycling program is supposed to help the environment. It’s friendly to bears, too.

To minimize conflicts with bears looking for food, the city of Durango requires trash and recycling containers be placed out for collection no earlier than 6 a.m. the day of collection and removed from the right of way no later than 8 p.m. the same day.

This bear rule was included when the city updated its new ordinance for trash and recycling, which went through final adoption Tuesday at the City Council meeting.

Under the ordinance, “trash and recycling containers should be secured or stored in such manner as to prevent wildlife from accessing the contents of such containers.”

Failure to comply initially would result in a courtesy notice, asking for the homeowner to secure all trash in a wildlife-resistant container.

Subsequent violations could be punishable by $50 fine for the second offense and $100 fines for each subsequent violation.

Homeowners also could be billed for the cleanup of rubbish so the city could recover its costs along with an administrative fee of $25.

Also, the ordinance includes a prohibition against leaving food outside as a lure to wildlife, with exceptions made for bird feeders. Resident could get a $100 fine for first violation and $200 for a second violation.