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Bears Like Our Garbage!

By April 25, 2016Front Page

Bear trouble DP gate
There are bears in those hills and they visit us this time of year. They come for our garbage. These photos were taken in Issaquah Highlands in 2015. Photo right shows the devastation a Dahlia Park resident woke to one morning. Their back yard gate had been ripped apart by a bear gaining access to their garbage cans, “hidden” in the yard. There’s no hiding from a bear.

This is why IHCA rules require us to store our garbage indoors. Outdoor storage invites bear invasions. Bears who get used to eating our garbage stored outdoors never leave us alone and tend to get more ambitious and aggressive, seeking out more opportunities. Our resident IHCA Board members enacted the ban on outdoor storage so that we would not go the way of say, Lake Tahoe, whose homes are notorious for bear break-ins.

IHCA Use, Rules and Restrictions: (Section hh)   Trash. Any trash (grey), recycling (blue), or yard waste (green) containers and/or bags and other trash containers must be stored indoors during non-pickup hours.  Trash cans may only be placed at the curb/street for pickup 12 hours prior to and 12 hours after pickup time.  The ARC will consider variance requests in accordance with the variance policy in section 4.5 of the Declaration under the following circumstances:  Topography, Natural Obstructions, Hardship

If you do not want to store your trash cans in your garage you can build or buy an enclosure for storing them.  The designs below are IHCA ARCH pre-approved (plastic storage containers are not allowed). You can get immediate ARC approval for your application (application required as a change to the exterior of your home) and there is no application fee.  (See examples below.)                      

ARC approved bear enclosures

No matter how you store your garbage, garbage pick-up on Fridays presents hungry bears opportunities to grab a bite. The best plan is to place your garbage cans (carts) out at 7am on Friday. If you need to place them out earlier (rules allow placing them 12 hours in advance of pick-up), consider using wild-life resistant carts. Cleanscapes/Recology provides two options. See for details.