Composting with Bears in Mind

Compost can attract bears and other wildlife. Special consideration and caution should be used when bears are active – from April to November. When composting outdoors in bear country, do the right thing and think GREEN!




  • Keep your compost clean, aerated, properly turned and odor-free.
  • Think GREEN when composting outdoors. Grasses, leaves and vegetation should be the only things going into your outdoor compost pile during times of bear activity. Never compost fruit, kitchen waste, meats, eggshells, melon rinds, fish, oil, grease, dairy products or anything else with an odor.
  • Sprinkle your compost with lime to aid in decomposition and reduce odor.
  • Cover kitchen waste with brown material (dry leaves or dried grass clippings).
  • County residents should consider surrounding compost pile with electric fencing. Note: Electric fencing is, (as of now), not allowed within city limits.
  • Locate your compost pile well away from woods edge, brush and travel pathways used by bears.
  • Consider starting a community compost that can be secured with electric fencing at a centralized location or your local landfill.
  • Vermicomposting, (composting with earthworms), is a great way to compost your kitchen waste indoors. Small systems can fit on your kitchen counters while others are big enough for your yard, basement or garage.