Orange County Solid Waste Manager Jim Becker presented the county commission Tuesday with a new ordinance that will dictate a clear plan to help stop bears from getting into peoples’ trash.

“Bears need food,” he said. “And that is available in residents’ garbage cans.”

Focusing on a northern area of the county designated a ‘bear zone,’ Becker explained the ordinance will make rules for how people in bear-affected areas can manage their garbage so bears don’t get to it.

The rules, according to Becker, will be that residents should avoid putting garbage out at the curb before 6 p.m. the night before collection, and no later than 6 a.m. the day of collection.

They’re also advised to keep their garbage in a secure location when it’s not being collected, Becker said.

All of this, Becker hopes, will reduce bear-related incidents in a way agreeable to everyone.

Becker told after the meeting they’re still working on an agreement with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to get a grant to buy bear-resistant trash cans to sell to residents. The grant would have the effect of making them more affordable for residents to buy.

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