Apopka ordinance would address bears' access to trashcans

- The Apopka City Council is proposing an ordinance to require residents to put trash out on the curb between 5 and 7 a.m., instead of the night before.  It's all to prevent bears from getting into trash cans.

It's becoming all too common, as bears get into garbage cans. Frank and Glenda Rowe say it happens in their Apopka neighborhood all the time.

"They're knocked over and there's trash everywhere," Glenda says.  Frank agrees, "They knock it over and tear the bags all over and it goes all across the road. But those people should not have put it out the night before."

Now Apopka City Council is proposing an ordinance asking residents to roll their trash out between 5-7 a.m.. Instead of putting it out the night before.

Frank says, "The bears are out early morning, just before sunrise. Looking for food."

If a homeowner does leave a can out prior to 5 a.m., Mayor Bryan Nelson says they won't face any fines, but he hopes they'll still take precautions.

"Should only put it out the morning of, unless you have bear proof trash cans."

Mayor Nelson says he's working with FWC to make bear proof trash cans affordable for residents in Apopka.

"We'll be able to give it to residents in Apopka for $50 and if you can get 10 neighbors then you can get the trashcan for $25."

He says it's important to reduce the risk of bears coming close to homes.

"Dangerous for themselves and for pets."

He says he's also asking neighbors not to leave pet food or bird feeders out. While Glenda and Frank say there's no need for a bear proof can, they'll roll with the plan to bring out the trash at 5 a.m..

"We moved into their territory. They're just trying to get food."

The ordinance still needs to be passed during second reading. If approved, the bear proof cans will be available sometime in November.

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