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To Keep Bears Out, Seminole County Requires Some To Secure Trash

Wildlife authorities check a dead bear during Florida's bear hunt. Photo by Amy Green

Enforcement begins this week of an ordinance requiring residents of Seminole County’s bear-weary neighborhoods west of the interstate to secure their trash.

The measure is the first statewide aimed at bears in neighborhoods.

The ordinance requires residents west of I-4 to secure their trash in garages, sheds or bear-resistant trash bins. It also addresses other bear attractants like pet food, fruit trees, and dirty grills.

Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine told WMFE that the measure relies on voluntary compliance.

“We’re not going to have what people would call bear can police,” he said. “We’re not going to be actively out there looking in neighborhoods for people that aren’t abiding by this.”

Violators could face a fine of $100.

Central Florida is home to the state’s largest bear population. Wildlife authorities describe this area of Seminole County as the “epicenter of human-bear conflict.”


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »