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Bryan Nelson Hosts Bear Safety Seminar


Bryan Nelson, the Orange County District 2 Commissioner, hosted a bear safety seminar at Clay Springs Elementary school on Monday night.

20151228_184419The seminar began with Mike Orlando, Assistant Coordinator for FWC’s Bear Management Program, who provided an overview of black bears in Florida and then then focused on the issue at hand - How to live in Bear Country.

He explained that the growing population of black bears on government-owned land is forcing the bears, mostly young males, to migrate into populated areas. While most bears are too shy to risk close contact with humans, their need for food can and will overcome their natural fear of humans.

He also said that there are several “attractants” that lure bears into neighborhoods and that preventing access to food is the most important thing Apopkans can do to keep bears out of our neighborhoods.

More on living with Florida Black Bears can be found here: Living with Bears

Residential garbage is the biggest attractant in our area. The seminar continued with a brief presentation by Allan Cole, Utilities Supervisor for Orange County and Regina Caronia, General Manager for Advanced Disposal. Advanced Disposal is the trash collection contractor for our area of Orange County.

Cole and Caronia reminded the seminar attendees that new, automated trash collection procedures for residents of unincorporated Orange County begin this Friday, January 1, 2016. The new procedures are nearly identical to those adopted by the City of Apopka several years ago. Orange County has provided residents with 95 gallon roll carts with green and blue lids. The green lid cart is for garbage and the blue lid cart is for recycling.

Details on the new collection procedures can be found here: New Trash Collection Program

Commissioner Nelson Demonstrates the operation of a bear-resistant roll cart. Commissioner Nelson Demonstrates the operation of a bear-resistant roll cart.

The new automated roll carts are not bear resistant as the lids do not lock. Bears will knock over garbage cans and carts to get to the garbage. To minimize the bear’s access to garbage residents are advised to place the carts on the curb in the morning of their collection day, not the night before. Orange County is working with local companies to develop a bear-resistant roll cart that can be used with the automated system. A cart with a locking lid was displayed at the seminar. This cart was not compatible with the automated collection system because it requires the driver to get out of the truck to unlock the lid.

The trash collection schedule is also changing. Trash will be collected only one time each week. Use this link to determine your collection day:

Orange County Curbside Collection Schedule



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