Solid Waste Management

urban bears rummage through trash

Urban Bear Management

Did you know Seminole County is Bear Country? Seminole County's incredible wild animals are a treasure, but encounters with bears, as well as bobcats, coyotes, and other critters, require caution.

Since food odors attract bears, keeping garbage secure is the most important way to reduce bear activity in your community. Eliminating trash as a bear attractant helps keep both bears and humans safe.

Urban Bear Management Area

If you live within Seminole County’s Urban Bear Management Area, please follow the below guidelines for trash and recycling collection.

Find out if you live within an established Urban Bear Management Area

Solid Waste Collection Guidelines

If you live within the Urban Bear Management Area:

  • Secure garbage and recycling inside a garage, shed, or other structure until at least 5 a.m. on designated collection days. Bringing your trash out in the morning, instead of the night before collection, prevents bears and other animals from getting into it overnight.
  • If refuse cannot be secured inside or brought out in the morning, purchase and use a bear-resistant container.
  • Crush food containers (such as large jars) to prevent animals from getting stuck in them.

More Information

Tips for Living with Bears

In addition to securing food, garbage, and recycling, remember these tips

  • Never feed or approach bears. Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food alters their behavior. It teaches them to approach homes and people and see us as a source of food.
  • Remove or modify bird feeders. Remove or modify bird and wildlife feeders to prevent bears from reaching them. Ensure the ground is free of feed debris.
  • Never leave pet food outdoors. Feed pets indoors or bring food dishes (even empty ones) inside at night. Store food indoors, as well.
  • Pick up fallen fruit. Remove fallen fruit from fruit trees to avoid attracting bears to your property.
  • Clean and store grills. Remove grease and food particles from grills after each use. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area.
  • Report bear activity. Report human-bear conflicts to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 352-732-1225 or online at as soon as possible.
  • Learn more. Request a presentation from the FWC for your HOA or community group. Email for more info.

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