County Bear and Trash Ordinance

The  County Bear-Resistant Trash Container Ordinance was passed in December, 2008 and its purpose is to protect the public health and welfare by either requiring the use of secured and wildlife-proof trash containers or restricting the times and dates in which residents or other property owners or users may leave unattended and unsecured trash, rubbish and refuse containers in the open and along rights-of-way within the unincorporated territory of the county and county-controlled lands.

The county ordinance is complaint-driven, meaning it requires residents to report bear and trash incidents to law enforcement agencies to be effective. Both the county and city ordinances basically read the same. You are asked to store your trash in a manner that makes it unavailable to bears and other wildlife. If bears get into your trash, and you have received a Notice of Violation, you are required to:

  • Store trash in a secure structure or bear-resistant trash container
  • Abide by time of placement schedules for placing trash container out for collection

The ordinance is enforced by Animal Protection and fines range from $200 for a first offense, $300 for a second and $500 for subsequent violations.  County residents are asked to report incidents of bears getting into trash by calling Central Dispatch at 385-2900.  Read an executive summary of the County Ordinance.


*  Animal Protection begins enforcement of this June 15, 2018.