Vt. residents of ‘bear country’ told to put trash out in mornings

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The state of Vermont urging people who live in “bear country” to put their trash out for collections the morning it is scheduled to be picked up.

The idea is to minimize the amount of time the trash or food scraps will be outside where they can attract bears.

The new advice comes a month of the Department of Environmental Conservation asked Vermonters to help protect haulers and waste workers from the coronavirus by putting trash and recycling bins on the curb the night before pickup.

“There’s often a need to balance one concern against another,“said Josh Kelly, the Materials Management Section chief at DEC. “We heard from people living in bear country that putting bins out the night before could attract bears, so these residents should put bins out the morning of pick-up.”

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is frequently reminding people to do what they can to avoid attracting bears.

“When a bear is fed, directly or indirectly, its life expectancy is likely reduced,” said Fish and Wildlife bear expert Forrest Hammond.

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