Chelan County commissioners are discussing options for trash collection in bear prone parts of the county. 

Commissioner Tiffany Gering told her colleagues Monday she's been in contact with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as Zippy Disposal Service in Chelan and Natural Resources about how to handle bear issues with trash collection. 

Gering says increasing public awareness through education is one idea being considered. 

"Does it look like putting a notice in people's bills that go out for Zippy, because they service the more rural areas, where there are not only bear, but cougar issues," said Gering. "Because I understand cougars eat the garbage as well." 

Gering said she would present a plan for moving forward on trash collection in bear prone areas once one is formulated. 

The south shore of Lake Chelan is second only to Leavenworth in the county for bear presence. 

Gering says it would not be a good idea for the county to require residents in those areas to have bear resistant trash cans. 

"We don't want to do that, right?" Gering said. "It's really hard to create spot regulations for certain areas of the county." 

Having a requirement for bear resistant trash cans would also place more strain on county code enforcement officers. 

 Commissioner Gering says the state Department of Fish and Wildlife could possibly supply funding to supply the trash cans. 

Gering says she's looking into what the county can do legally to help with trash collection in bear prone area.  

She said the people who live in bear prone areas don’t want to pay for bear resistant trash cans, and Zippy Disposal can’t afford to provided them without financial help. 

One issue on the south shore of Lake Chelan is the makeup of neighborhoods, which are mostly not occupied full time. 

The homes largely serve a population that’s present in the summer, who leave the homes on Sunday with trash that is not collected by Zippy Disposal until Wednesdays. 

Gering said relocating bears doesn’t solve any problems because the bears will come back, or other bears will move into the area. 

She said she would continue to look for solutions for trash collection in bear prone areas of Chelan County. Her district includes the Lake Chelan area. 

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