The City of Leavenworth is taking steps to discourage black bears and other wildlife from dining on residents garbage. The city is changing its garbage pick-up schedule to encourage residents to put out their garbage in the morning rather than the night before.
Leavenworth Public Works Director, Dave Schettler and several city council members attended meetings and presentations where living in black bear country was discussed. Leavenworth and the surrounding area is prime black bear country and bears are frequently spotted in and around town. By moving the garbage pick-up time from 6:30am to 8:00am the city hopes to eliminate the availability of garbage as an attractant and food source for the local bears. The city notified customers last month of the change by handing out pink flyers explaining the new system.
Leavenworth experienced an increase in bear encounters last year and hopes to avoid a similar situation this year. Residents have reported bears around Blackbird Island, a popular walking and running trail along the Wenatchee River that runs through the middle of town; school field trips and soccer games have also been canceled in response to bear sightings in town.
In another step toward implementing bear safe practices the city has ordered some 64-gallon bear resistant trash bins. The special trash bins will be provided to customers who have had continued problems with wildlife feeding on their trash. These small steps will certainly help in reducing the bear encounters in the city and move Leavenworth closer to being a bear smart community.