Bear Resistant Cart Information

Bear Resistant Cart Information


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Highlands County have teamed up to provide bear-resistant trash cans to county residents at discounted rates. The County was awarded a BearWise Grant from FWC for $48,000. The money was used to purchase bear-resistant trash cans.

Trash is the number one bear-attractor in Florida. Bears that become food conditioned are more likely to return to residential areas and cause property damage getting to a food source.  Bears also lose their fear of people and can become a threat. Using bear-resistant trash cans helps deter bears from associating your home to a food source.

If you live in Highlands County you have an opportunity to purchase a bear-resistant trash can modified with a latching mechanism that works with the fully automated sidearm waste collection trucks.

The lock-top containers, designed to keep trash in and bears out, have proven effective in other communities in Florida. These special bear-tested cans with gravity locks:
  • Allow you to set garbage out overnight
  • Work well with the County’s automated curbside collection
  • Discourage bears from making regular visits to neighborhoods
  • Eliminate the amount of trash you must clean up after bears

Remember, any food source that attracts dogs, cats or raccoons will attract bears.

Highlands County is selling the 95-gallon bear-resistant trash can at the highly discounted price of $25.00 plus tax if you decide to return your existing blue cart.  If you decided to keep your existing blue cart and secure a second bear-resistant can the price is $75.00 plus tax. 

There is a process to obtaining the bear-resistant cans including an application. Successful applicants will include those residents who have called in complaints to FWC for bears in trash and/or those residents who live in high density black bear areas within Highlands County. The application is available by clicking here or you can call the County’s Solid Waste Department at (863) 402-6505 or email Bea Johnson at

Never intentionally feed a bear. It’s illegal in Florida.
Remember, a fed bear, is a dead bear.