Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
11:42 am EDT
Saturday, October 24, 2020

Keeping the Bears Away (And We Don’t Mean Football)!

The FWC’s Bear Management Program held a press event at the Tallahassee Museum to demonstrate the use of bear-resistant garbage containers. May 18, 2017.
photo: Tim Donovan/FWC

Lake County is using an award of $25,000 toward purchasing bear-resistant trash cans to sell—at a discount—to Lake County residents.

If you’ve never met a black bear in your garage or rooting around your tossed refuse, you might not know what all the noise is about. But the first time you do will be the last time you won’t be prepared. It’s frightening.

However, there is something you can do.

“We have bear-resistant containers available now for Lake County residents in areas that are not incorporated into a town or city. They come in 65-gallon and 95-gallon sizes. Either one can be purchased for $40. That’s the discounted price since these containers usually run around $250,” says Elisha Pappacoda, director of the office of communications for Lake County.

“Residents in areas such as Mount Dora, or Lady Lake should contact their local government to inquire about them,” she added.

Lake County is one of four communities to receive 69 percent of this year’s funding from The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They partner with BearWise, a program developed by bear experts from the Southeastern states and supported by fish and wildlife agencies.

“We encourage all residents, whether or not they live in areas with large populations of Florida black bears, to be bear-wise and practice the safe disposal of trash,” said the county’s Environmental Services Manager Mary Hamilton.

The number for residents living in unincorporated areas to call the Lake County Solid Waste Department at 352-343-3776.

This is the second year Lake County has received an award for this project, which is part of a larger grant of $85,508 from Florida Fish & Wildlife.

For more information on bear safety, visit the website: bearwise.org.

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