Bear Resistant Dumpsters

One of several photos submitted to the Reporter by Robb Bolin to show the results of people not being able to open the new trash dumpsters in the County. Courtesy photo

Users are leaving trash bags beside and on top of dumpsters because the lids are too difficult to lift up. Courtesy photo

The height and weight of lids on County trash dumpsters have become an issue for many residents. Courtesy photo

Maintenance Coordinator
Los Alamos Property Management

To whom it may concern:

I work for a property management company in the county with a total of eight commercial dumpsters, five for properties they own and three for properties they manage. All of these dumpsters were replaced last year with the new bear resistant type of dumpster to prevent bears from getting into the trash. They have not solved the problem for us and in fact have made the problem significantly worse.

1. The doors are too heavy and to high for many of our tenants. This results in trash bags being left outside of the dumpster.

2. The openings are small. This results in the trash piling up directly under the opening making it so trash cannot be thrown/pushed to the back of the dumpster. This leaves half the dumpster empty while trash piles up out the top of the dumpster. By the time weekly trash pick up comes around it is overflowing and trash is being left outside the dumpster.

3. During the winter the doors/handles have frozen so they cannot be opened. This results in trash bags being left outside of the dumpster.

With the trash bags being left outside and on top of the dumpsters the ravens have caused us major problems tearing open the bags and spreading trash around. As a result we spend approximately 4-6 hours a week pre-emptively pushing trash to the back of the dumpsters to make more room and cleaning up around the dumpsters. Additionally, this is causing significant problems for the EcoStation employees that empty our dumpsters. They don’t have the time to pick up any trash outside the dumpsters, consequently the dumpsters get put back down on top of the remaining trash.

We applaud the effort on the part of the County, but this is not a sustainable solution. The reason for having this type of dumpster, to prevent bears getting into the trash, will have the opposite effect once spring arrives. We respectfully request you take this problem seriously and deal with it immediately, spring is just around the corner.

Please see a few photos from the past month showcasing our concerns: