Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Spring weather will be bringing hungry bears out of their dens looking for food, and Missoula County residents in the Grant Creek and Rattlesnake areas will be required to store their garbage in bear-resistant containers or enclosures starting Tuesday, April 30.

I spoke with Jeanna Miller, Environmental Health Manager at Missoula Public Health about the new regulations.

New Bear Resistant Garbage Cans will be Required Starting April 30

“Phase One goes into effect on April 30, and because we're a community that has privatized garbage service, there are two main hauling companies; Grizzly Disposal and Republic Services,” began Miller. “Those cans are being switched out automatically for folks who live in Phase One, basically Grant Creek and the Rattlesnake, so people are seeing the bear-resistant cans in their neighborhoods in Phase One already.”

Miller said the new bear-resistant cans go through rigorous testing with actual bears from the Grizzly and Wolf Recovery Center in West Yellowstone.

The Cans are Tested by Bears from The Grizzly and Wolf Recovery Center

“The cans that are required have to be IGBC approved; the International Grizzly Bear Commission,” she said. “Those folks actually have various can types the businesses or can manufacturers want tested or approved, and so they really just throw them in with grizzly bears. And I don't know the exact specifics, but in order for a can to be rated as resistant, it has to be of a durability that can survive a certain period of time with a bear.”

To determine which zone you are living in, Miller suggested visiting the Missoula County Information System.

“We do have an appendix in our health code that shows the bear-proof zones and the actual boundaries,” she said. “But if you just Google Missoula County Property Information system, the homepage allows you to type in your address, and there's a pretty obvious button that says ‘facts’, and if you click on ‘facts’, it will tell you all kinds of things about your property, like your school district, your voting district, and also whether you are in or out of the bear buffer zone and if you are a zone, which phase.”

Read More: Essential Guide: Staying Bear Aware In Montana This Spring

There will be a Slight Increase in the Cost of Bear Resistant Containers

A representative from Grizzly Disposal confirmed to KGVO that the price increase for a bear-resistant trash receptacle would be approximately $10 per month. He declined to provide his name. Jeremy Walters, Manager for External Communications at Republic Services, confirmed that Republic Services will not be raising prices for these containers.

Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Republic Services would be raising prices quarterly by about $5.

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