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City Council passes bear resistant trash ordinance in west Colorado Springs

The Colorado Springs City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that will require some Colorado Springs residences west of I-25 to invest in bear-resistant trash cans or to abide by a trash collection curfew.

The vote, which passed unanimously 9-0, offers residents two options to manage their trash to help control bear activity. If residents are able to store their trash receptacle securely — like in a garage — they will have to put out their trash can no earlier than 5 a.m. on collection day and return it to its secure location no later than 7 p.m.

The second option is to invest in a bear resistant trash can. Residences without a garage or similarly secure facility to store their trash will be required to buy a bear resistant receptacle.

Several Colorado Parks and Wildlife regional groups voiced their excitement and approval of the vote.

CPW Southeast Region posted the following on Twitter:

‘”We applaud @COSCityCouncil for its leadership & willingness to tackle sensitive wildlife issues,” said Frank McGee, @COParksWildlife area wildlife manager for #ColoradoSprings. “First the council made it illegal to feed wildlife. Now they are protecting bears. We are grateful.”‘

Colorado Springs will become the largest city in Colorado to implement an ordinance of this nature, CPW SE region said in a tweet. Other smaller cities, like Manitou Springs and Boulder, have similar laws in place.

When the ordinance mandating bear-sensitive trash handling is final and takes effect, #ColoradoSprings will become the largest city in Colorado to protect bears with such a law. Boulder and other smaller towns including Manitou Springs have passed similar ordinances. pic.twitter.com/68q3cYHrjm

— CPW SE Region (@CPW_SE) October 8, 2019

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The City of Colorado Springs proposed an ordinance that would require residents in bear-frequented areas to use bear resistant trash cans, the City announced Monday.

City Council Members Richard Skorman and Don Knight invited the public to attend two community meetings to discuss a proposed ordinance which would require bear resistant trash cans west of I-25 and establish a “Bear Management Area Map.”

If the ordinance is passed by City Council there could be a financial impact to residents and businesses within the Bear Management Area.

If trash cans are already kept in a secured area, the ordinance proposes a quasi curfew for the receptacle. The trash receptacle would have to be placed out for garbage collection no earlier than 5 a.m. on the day of collection, and returned to its secured area no later than 7 p.m. the same day.

This proposal was discussed at the July 22 City Council Work Session. You can view the video from that meeting and review the documents presented to Council here.

There will be two public meetings with Council members, Richard Skorman (District 3) and Don Knight (District 1), who both represent the entire area of Colorado Springs west of I-25. Representatives from the City of Colorado Springs Neighborhood Services, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region will also be available to answer questions.

Public Meeting Details:
August 22, 6-7:30 pm — Fire Station 18, 6830 Hadler View
August 29, 6-7:30 pm — Westside Community Center, 1628 W Bijou Street

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