One model is industrial-strength steel with a locking cover. Another is heavy-duty plastic with a screw-top lid.
The city's trash task force, which is made up of city staff members and representatives from the Juneau Police Department and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, has been working on low-cost trash-control options this summer. A bear-resistant 55-gallon steel drum with a locking lid will be available to the public at the end of the month, according to Maria Gladziszewski, a special projects coordinator with the city.
"We're hoping these barrels will catch on," she said. "It's a simple solution and relatively inexpensive."
The metal drums normally are used to store hazardous waste, but easily can be used for everyday household trash. And at $45, a new can costs less than a trash ticket from police, she said.
The metal barrels and lids will be available at the next Hazardous Waste Cleanup in Juneau, said Vince Perez, a contractor with Safety Kleen, which sells the drums. The cleanup is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at 5436 Commercial Boulevard off Anka Street.
"They have a locking ring on them so you have to push the lever down and push it over and that unlocks the lid," Perez said. "It's nothing special. It's kind of like a food service-type ring. It takes a little bit to figure it out, pull it back."
Waste Management, the company that handles Juneau's trash, won't pick up the steel containers, however, so Gladziszewski suggests people move their trash to a regular can on garbage day.
The city also has been testing a sturdy plastic can with a screw-top lid that is designed for hazardous waste, Gladziszewski said. They appear to be bear-resistant, but Community Services Officer Bob Dilley is planning a real-life experiment in a local neighborhood before making a final determination, he said.
If they work, the city will look for a local supplier, Gladziszewski said. The price of the cans online is $57 plus shipping. Contact information is listed on the city's Web site at www.juneau.org/bears/. The Web site also has a list of other companies that sell bear-resistant containers and a link to garbage storage tips.
Joanna Markell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.