When Dumpster Diving Isn’t Cool

September 9, 2007

The first time I found scat outside our house, it was vaguely exciting. The notion that a ferocious bear was creeping outside my window as I slept peacefully only feet away was exhilarating. The next morning, however, when our neighbors trash was strewn about their driveway, I was less enthusiastic. And when the bear, on his nightly rounds, found something in our trash (raw cookie dough to be precise), I felt horrible.

Garbage Kills Bears

The cookie dough itself isn’t really harmful when ingested, but bears easily become addicted to eating out of garbage cans, which puts them in direct contact with populated neighborhoods. A few calls to authorities about a bear stalking the area inevitably means the destruction of the bear.

Let’s get this straight: we move to a mountain town, buy a home as close to the forest as possible, leave our garbage can outside, unprotected, and the bear has to be killed for eating out it. That’s how it is in Skitown, USA.

I am NOT proud that it took a bear spilling our garbage onto the driveway to figure out I needed to put the can on lockdown for the safety of all involved. And our neighbors STILL have not gotten the picture, since for over a week straight I have found the remnants of their trash blown onto our yard. I can even hear the bear testing the chain that I installed on our container outside on some nights.

It’s simple, it’s cheap, it’s easy – here is what you do.

1. Go to the hardware store and purchase two double end bolt snaps, two 5/16″ X 4″ eye bolts, 4 nuts and 4 washers that fit on the eye bolt and one 3 foot section of heavy chain link. Total cost: under $10.

2. Drill 2 holes in the body your garbage can. One on one side of the lid about halfway back and one on the other side.

3. Put one nut and one washer on the eyebolt, push it into the hole you just drilled. Inside the can, screw the other washer and nut onto the eyebolt. Repeat on the other side.

4. Attach one end of the snap bolt to the eye bolt you just screwed into your garbage can, attache the other end to the piece chain. Pull the chain snuggly across the lid of your garbage can and repeat on the other side.

Eye Bolts Inside the Can Bear Proof Can

Your trash can is now bear resistant and you, too, can enjoy the rattling of the chain outside your window knowing that you have not fed the garbage addiction of a bear who really needs to head back up to the mountain and look for berries. This is so cheap, and so easy, I may just install this for our neighbor before the police start showing up with guns drawn.

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