Urban Bear Management Area: Be Bear Aware

West Seminole County Urban Bear Management AreaSeminole County, in consultation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has developed regulations intended to reduce human-bear conflicts within Seminole County. The regulations employ nationally recognized best management techniques for eliminating bear attractants, and require that refuse, the most significant contributor to bear-human conflicts, be secured in a manner that precludes access by bears.

The core of these bear management regulations focuses on the elimination of bear attractants within designated Urban Bear Management Areas. Within an established Urban Bear Management Area, Residential Refuse Customers must secure their refuse until the designated collection day.  This may be accomplished through storage of refuse containers within a garage, shed, or other secured structure until 5:00 am on the day of collection.  While Residential Refuse Customers may alternatively elect to secure refuse within a bear-resistant container, the new bear management regulations do not require Residential Refuse Customers to purchase bear-resistant refuse cans.  If a bear-resistant container is selected, the timing limitations for placement of refuse containers outside of a secured structure do not apply. Commercial Refuse Customers located within an established Urban Bear Management Area must secure their refuse within a bear-resistant container.   To read the full ordinance, click here (last published 1/13/16). For frequently asked questions, information on obtaining a bear resistant trash container, and more, please reference the below links. Please note, although this Ordinance is applicable to City of Altamonte Springs refuse collection customers, any bear-resistant refuse containers must be consistent with the City’s collection guidelines with respect to size and type.

The requirement to secure refuse and other bear attractants becomes actively effective on February 7, 2016.

February 2018 Update: Discounted Bear-Resistant Refuse Containers

At this time Seminole County has received more applications for the FWC’s grant program to provide bear resistant containers than the number of containers available. We will continue to collect applications and place them on a waiting list in the order in which they are received. Please do not send in payment with your application, once your application is approved, you will receive an invoice from Seminole County to purchase a bear resistant container. Please be advised that any additional grant funds that might be allocated to Seminole County would likely not be received until late 2018.

If you would like to purchase your own bear resistant container, they may be available at local home improvement/hardware stores and online. Manufactured containers must be 96-gallons or smaller and should meet the IGBC standards. The FWC has provided the guidance document linked below on How to Make Your Refuse Container Bear Resistant.

As of August 08, 2017, the $60.00 annual service fee collected by the hauler was discontinued.

We appreciate your participation and patience.

May 2017 Update: Discounted Bear-Resistant Refuse Containers

Seminole County will begin accepting applications to purchase 64-gallon bear-resistant garbage containers at discounted prices on June 1, 2017. The applications will primarily be managed on a first come – first served basis. The discounts are made available, in part, through a grant from the Florida Wildlife Commission. So, when the grant funding is exhausted, the discounts will be discontinued. Please refer to the guidelines and applications provided below. Finally, applicants that may not be able to afford bear-resistant garbage cans could receive one at no cost. Therefore, a separate application is provided for low-income qualified households. The grant award from FWC of $200,000 will be used to reduce prices for residents within the Seminole County's Urban Bear Management (UBMA) (west of I-4) as follows:

Individual homeowner/resident: $125.73

Entire HOA or Neighborhood Group: $42.14

Low - Income Qualified: NO COST

Bear Resistant Container Guidelines 2017

Application to Purchase Form

Low Income Assistance Form

Eastern Boundary Update: 1/14/2016

In response to inquiries by affected parties, Seminole County and representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are currently reviewing the requirement to secure refuse and other bear attractants within the portion of the West Seminole County Urban Bear Management Area (WSCUBMA) that is located east of Interstate 4 (I-4).   While this review is in process, enforcement of the requirement to secure refuse and other attractants, as described in Sections 258.2-6.  and Section 258.7.1. of the Urban Bear Management Code will be suspended.  A map of the area in which enforcement will be suspended can be seen here.  The requirement to secure refuse and other bear attractants for properties  located within portion of the WSCUBMA located west of  I-4 becomes actively effective Sunday, February 7, 2016 (click her for a map depicting this area).

Our Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Need to Purchase a Bear-Resistant Trash Container?

If you are able to secure your refuse in a shed, garage, or other secured structure on non-collection days, and do not place your refuse curbside before 5:00AM on collection days, you do not need to purchase a bear-resistant container. Customers within the Urban Bear Management area who would like a bear-resistant container may purchase one, however it is not required in this case.

If you must place your refuse curbside before 5:00AM on collection days, you will be required to utilize a bear-resistant refuse container.

All Commercial Refuse Customers within the boundary of an established Urban Bear Management Area will be required to utilize a bear-resistant container or retrofit their existing container to their hauler's specifications.