The scoop on Aspen's bear ordinances

By Real Aspen
June 30, 2010

The City of Aspen has created Wildlife Protection Ordinances in an attempt to keep you safe and help deter bear and human conflicts.

Unsecured Dumpster: Why Do These Ordinances Exist?

Aspen’s Wildlife Protection Ordinances are in place to ensure your safety and the safety of our wildlife. When wildlife has access to trash, it brings them closer to our homes, creating a potentially dangerous situation for animals and people. Please comply with these laws by making your trash inaccessible to animals.

Failure to comply with these ordinances may result in the following penalties:

* 1st Offense: $250
* 2nd Offense: $500
* 3rd Offense: $999 + mandatory court appearance

Aspen Municipal Code, Wildlife Protection, Chapter 12.08
12.08.010. Definitions.

The definitions and terms used in this Chapter are defined as follows:

Your trash must be properly secured.
Colorado Division of Wildlife

(1) Refuse mean any waste that could reasonably attract wildlife which includes, but shall not be limited to, kitchen organic waste, food, food packaging, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, spices, seasonings and grease. Refuse does not include recyclables.

(2) Wildlife-resistant refuse container means a fully enclosed container that can be constructed of pliable materials, but must be reinforced to deter access by wildlife. The container must employ a sturdy lid that has a latching mechanism preventing access to its contents by wildlife. Wildlife Resistant Containers must meet the standards of testing by the Living With Wildlife Foundation and a “passing” rating by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) as bear resistant for 60 minutes or otherwise be approved by a City-designated official.

(3) Wildlife-resistant dumpster enclosure means an enclosed structure consisting of four (4) sides and a secure door or cover, which shall have a latching device of sufficient design and strength to prevent access by wildlife.

(4) Wildlife-proof refuse container means a fully enclosed metal container with a metal lid. The lid must have a latching mechanism, which prevents access to the contents by wildlife. Wildlife-proof refuse containers must meet the standards of testing by the Living With Wildlife Foundation and a “passing” rating by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) as bear resistant for 60 minutes or otherwise be approved by a City-designated official.

Sec. 12.08.020. Wildlife resistant refuse containers or enclosures required.

A. No owner or person in charge of a property shall cause or allow the creation of or maintain a wildlife accessible refuse container or attractant outside on that property or the adjacent right-of-way at any time.

B. Any refuse container left outside a house, garage, or other enclosed building which is accessible by wildlife, regardless of size, that receives refuse which is edible by bears or other wildlife shall be either:

(1) An approved wildlife-resistant refuse container; or

(2) An approved wildlife-resistant dumpster enclosure.

(3) An approved wildlife-proof refuse container.

C. Any trash hauler who provides a refuse container to a city customer shall only provide wildlife-resistant refuse containers or wildlife-resistant dumpsters, which meet the requirements set forth herein or is approved by a City-designated official.

Sec. 12.08.030. Maintenance and operation of wildlife-proof refuse containers and dumper enclosures.

A. Wildlife-resistant-refuse containers and dumpster enclosures must be kept closed and secure when refuse is not being deposited.

B. If a container or enclosure is damaged, allowing access by wildlife, repairs must be made within seventy-two hours after written notification by a City-designated official.

C. Providers are required to display their business name on all receptacles they provide within the City.

D. All refuse containers must have the street address and unit number permanently affixed to the container with digits no smaller than two inches in height. (Ord. No. 13-1999, §1 (part); Ord. No. 27-2005 §1; Ord. No. 8-2008)

Sec. 12.08.040. Residential refuse disposal.

A. Any refuse container left outside a house, garage, or other enclosed building which is accessible by wildlife, regardless of size, that receives refuse which is edible by bears or other wildlife shall be either an approved wildlife-resistant refuse container or an approved wildlife-resistant dumpster enclosure or an approved wildlife-proof refuse container.

B. Residents with curbside pick-up shall place only wildlife-resistant refuse containers or an approved wildlife-proof refuse container at the curb, alley, or public right of way at or after six o'clock (6:00) A.M. on the morning of scheduled pick up. After pick up, all containers must be removed from the curb, alley or public right of way by seven o'clock (7:00) P.M. on the same day.

C. Other household waste that cannot reasonably be considered "refuse" or an “attractant” as defined in this chapter, including, but not limited to: non-edible yard maintenance waste, household items, recyclables, and cardboard, shall not require the use of wildlife resistant or wildlife proof containers when not commingled with refuse or any other attractant.

Sec. 12.08.070. Construction site refuse disposal.

All construction sites must have a separate specifically designated container that receives refuse edible by wildlife. This container shall be a wildlife-proof refuse container.

If you would like access to the complete Aspen Municipal Code, we invite you to visit the following link: http://ww2.aspenpitkin.com/Portals/0/docs/City/clerk/municode/coaspent12.pdf.


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