All trash bins in Juneau would need metal lids, and residents would have to secure lids on outdoor trash cans under a proposed city ordinance to thwart bears and ravens.
The Urban Bear Ordinance will affect fewer than 100 trash bins, said Maria Gladziszewski, the city's special projects officer. About 500 bins already have lids or are located behind barriers strong enough to ward off a bear, following a previous ordinance, she said.
"We know Dumpsters with metal lids keep out bears," Gladziszewski said.
The broader ordinance will be introduced at Monday's Assembly meeting and likely set for public hearing March 15, City Clerk Laurie Sica said. Gladziszewski presented the proposal to the Assembly Committee of the Whole Monday night and members endorsed the changes.
If the Assembly declines action on the new ordinance, local law allows the city manager to extend the metal lid requirement to remaining locations in the borough if bear activity in those areas constitutes a danger to the public.
The ordinance is being changed to make it easier for the public to understand and police to enforce, she said.
When the ordinance was first enacted in 2001, about 600 trash bins were required to have lids. The city enforced the law by first requiring lids for bins in areas with high concentrations of food and bears. As bears moved to new locations, bins in those areas were required to have lids.
The latest changes to the ordinance make any remaining bins adhere to the metal lid requirement, Gladziszewski said. Those areas include the Juneau Airport, Back Loop Road, Montana Creek and sections between the hospital and Lemon Creek.
Meanwhile, ravens and some dogs have been tearing into people's garbage on collection days, Gladziszewski said. Requiring secure lids will help prevent them from making messes around the city and borough.
People who create a bear-attraction nuisance would be slapped with a $50 fine on the first infraction, without the current 48-hour notice.
Tara Sidor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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