No-interest loans to help residents buy bear box garbage can enclosures

Published on July 22, 2015

A new loan program is available for homeowners in eastern Placer County looking for a simple way to fit the cost of bear- resistant garbage can enclosures into monthly budgets.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve final details of the loan program at a meeting in Olympic Valley today. The program’s goal: encouraging homeowners in unincorporated areas of the county east of Colfax to install enclosures if they have not done so already.

Sometimes known as bear boxes, the enclosures have proven effective in keeping bears and other wildlife from scavenging through trash cans.

A recent survey conducted by Placer County Environmental Utilities revealed that almost 67 percent of respondents have had problems with wildlife disturbing garbage and most of the problems involved garbage cans unprotected by enclosures.

The loan program will be available to homeowners who live in unincorporated areas of Placer County east of Colfax served by Tahoe Truckee Disposal Inc. County staff estimates that approximately 5,400 homeowners in those areas do not have bear-resistant garbage enclosures.

Under the proposed program, eligible homeowners can apply for a five-year, interest-free loans that would be repaid through $22 per month surcharges on quarterly garbage bills.

The loan amount will be up to $1,320, which includes up to $1,200 for a typical two-can bear box and a $120 administration fee. Up to 100 loans will be made per fiscal year on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tahoe Truckee Disposal will administer the loan program and ensure that enclosures are installed by approved licensed contractors.

County staff emphasized that preventing wildlife from scavenging through garbage cans protects residents and wildlife alike. Once animals such as bears get a taste of human’s food, they typically hunger for more, become less cautious and frequently cause property damage and put residents in danger.

For more information about the loan program and how to sign up, please call 530-886-4918.