Some people who live in the Tahoe area will get loans to pay for bear-proof garbage bins. It's an effort to reduce conflicts with the animals who wander into neighborhoods in search of food.
Here's a typical phone call that comes in to Jeanette Tillman at South Tahoe Refuse:
"'Hey, I just had a 200 pound bear in my yard tipping over my garbage cans.' It's every day," says Tillman.
The waste management agency is administering the bear box loan program. Homeowners can apply for loans of up to $1,200. Tillman says the steel bear-proof bins will help prevent animals from getting into garbage, a lot of which is left behind by vacationers.
"It's kind of difficult to figure out how to store garbage once you leave," Tillman explains. "If you don't get garbage pick up until Wednesday and you leave on Sunday then it can allow some of the wildlife to access the garbage."
Bear protection advocates have been pushing for mandatory bear-proof bins, but local governments have resisted because of the costs.
The loan payments span five years and include quarterly payments of up to $65 on top of the regular garbage collection service bill.
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