SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Grant funds for bear-resistant dumpster kits are available to businesses including restaurants, camping/RV sites, daycares assistant living facilities, and apartment buildings in the BearWise ordinance area, which includes all of Santa Rosa County south of the Yellow River, including Holley, Navarre and the unincorporated area of Gulf Breeze.
Customers must have a front-load dumpster; side-loading or individual cans are not eligible. To apply, complete the online form or call 850-981-7143. The funding, provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to qualified applicants, is available on a first come-first serve basis until April 2019 or until funds are depleted.
A bear-resistant dumpster looks and operates very similarly to a standard dumpster, with the exception that there is a security bar and reinforced plastic lids. County staff will make the necessary arrangements for the modifications. Waste Pro, Republic, and Waste Management will modify existing dumpsters to be bear resistant. There is no additional charge for servicing them, and the customer simply unlocks the dumpster for it to be serviced (the security bars are gravity locks that open automatically). Because the dumpsters are owned by the companies, not the restaurants, the only request to the business is for them to agree to use them properly (i.e., keep them secured).
Bears are attracted to garbage in commercial dumpsters, specifically those associated with restaurants. Modifying these dumpsters in the county’s bear ordinance zone will help reduce drawing bears in to feed where people frequent. For more information, contact the county’s environmental department, firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-981-7143.