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Garbage Management

Garbage Management

Human garbage is attractive to black bears. When bears get into people’s garbage, they may be encouraged to return to the location because of the food reward. Bears that associate people with food may have to be trapped or destroyed. Be a good neighbor by following these tips.

Use certified bear-resistant garbage containers
Use certified bear-resistant garbage containers and keep the container outdoors if you live in an area frequented by black bears. Certified bear-resistant trash containers have passed a formal testing procedure and are proven to keep bears out. Certified containers offer the best protection.
Use certified bear-resistant community dumpsters in housing developments and gated communities.
Secure garbage cans
If not using certified containers, store all garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids and place them within a secure location where bears are unlikely to see or smell them. For example, leave garbage containers in your basement until morning of garbage collection. Note: Occasionally, bears have tried to enter buildings in search of food, so use caution.
Garbage containers or dumpsters may be stored within BearResistant Dumpster Enclosures (BRDEs). These are fully enclosed structure consisting of four sides (i.e. solid panels or cyclone fencing,) eight feet high, and with a top of sufficient design (i.e. barbed wire or roof) constructed to prevent access by black bears.
BRDEs should meet the standards specified by the Living with Wildlife Foundation. Various BRDE Designs can be found at the following link:
Put out garbage the morning of collection day
Put out garbage as close to pick-up time as possible, not the night before.
Wash trash containers
Wash trash containers with a disinfectant solution at least once a week to eliminate odors. Examples of disinfectant solution include hot water and chlorine bleach or ammonia.
Secure & clean recycling containers
Store recycling containers in a secure building and only put them outdoors on the day of pick up. Empty recyclables, like beverage cans, bottles and food containers can attract bears.

Bear-Resistant Trash Container Manufacturers

The following companies produce bear-resistant trash containers. The list is intended to be informational and does not have the endorsement of the NJDEP Fish and Wildlife.

Fish and Wildlife encourages the use of certified bear-resistant trash containers. Certified bear-resistant trash containers have passed a formal testing procedure that has been developed by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

For more information on the Bear Resistant Products Testing Program and the current list of products that have passed testing, please visit the following link:

List of Manufacturers

PO Box 89
Tahoe City, CA 96145
Bearicuda Bins, Inc.
3 West Street
Suite 3E, PO Box 56
Litchfield, CT 06759
Bear Necessities Waste &
Food Storage, Inc.
403-609-3508 (fax)
1390 S. Milliken Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
Fax: 909-605-7780
Carson Valley Welding –
“No Bear Can” Trash Enclosure
2999 Akron Way
Carson City, NV
Colorado Correctional Industries
4999 Oakland St.
Denver, CO
Growler Can
Haul-All Equipment Systems
Kodiak Products
2608 Spitfire Lane
Prescott, AZ 86301
Rehrig Pacific Company
4010 East 26th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90058
Toter Inc.
Wildlife Trash Safe
143 East Milan Rd.
Berlin, NH 03570

For further information contact

Bear Resources

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2023
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Last Update: January 27th, 2023