AP NEWS

Trash thrown throughout: Residents want bear-proof cans

December 13, 2018

FRANKLIN, La. (AP) — Bleach, household cleaner and bungee cords aren’t stopping bears in a Louisiana parish, so one resident says she has to look out the window every morning to see if one has rummaged through her trash. She also says she’s had to pick up billing and medical information and needles among the litter scattered across lawns and streets.

Black bears have been an issue in St. Mary Parish neighborhoods for years, KATC-TV reported Wednesday. Centerville resident Jennifer Liner and others in the parish are frustrated with a lack of bear-proof trash cans. But officials say they can’t provide the receptacles until next year and that the issue is seasonal, at least.

Liner said she has had to pick up her own and neighbors’ garbage from yards after her morning checks.

Parts of St. Mary Parish, south of U.S. Route 90, already have bear-proof cans, but officials say new ones won’t be available until 2020 at the soonest.

St. Mary bear conflict officer Catherine Siracusa said the parish is renegotiating its contract with its waste company to expand services. She said a bear-proof system involves a rear-loading truck, a driver and two workers on the back unlocking and emptying the cans.

The parish has created flyers for residents on how to deter bears, like double-bagging and rinsing cans often, but Liner says she still deals with the issue.

“I’ve tried bleach to try to mask it with that, I’ve tried Pine-Sol to see if that will work,” Liner said. Bears have ripped through bungee cords Liner used like officials suggested, she said.

Siracusa said it’s the best officials can offer now. “The only consolation when we’re looking at this is it’s a seasonal thing,” she said.

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Information from: KATC-TV, http://katc.com