How to Keep Bears Away From Garbage Cans

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If possible, don't put your garbage out until the morning of your pick-up day. Avoid leaving them it overnight.


Don't feed bears. They can associate your home with food and return repeatedly.

How to Keep Bears Away From Garbage Cans. If you live in an wildlife-populated area, you know how much bears love to root around in your garbage. You've likely risen many mornings to find your trash strewn about your yard or street. Or, maybe you've caught them sitting contentedly, munching on what they've found in your cans. If you're tired of cleaning up after these bad news bears, take steps to keep them away from your garbage cans.


Step 1

Use bear-proof garbage containers. These have twist and lock lids, making it difficult for the bears to get inside them. Bears cannot crush or rip the reinforced sides, tops and bottoms.

Step 2

Store your garbage cans in your garage or shed.

Step 3

Seal thrown-out food in plastic bags or disposable air-tight containers, or add lime to garbage to eliminate odors that can attract bears. If necessary, separate food waste from non-food garbage and keep discarded food materials in a garage or shed until garbage pick-up day.


Step 4

Leave a bright light on the spot where you leave your garbage cans, if you don't have a garage or shed to store them. Set up a scarecrow nearby. Bears are not confrontational unless humans injure or corner them.

Step 5

Wash containers to be thrown away or recycled before placing them in garbage cans. This reduces odors that can attract the bears to your cans.

Step 6

Clean garbage cans regularly, using disinfectants, bleach or white vinegar. Spray inside with ammonia between cleanings to help discourage bears from getting to your garbage cans.