Waste Pro, per its franchise agreement with Santa Rosa County, must provide bear-resistant carts upon request for an additional fee. However, according to company representatives, such carts have not been available and are not expected to become available.
According to its July 9, 2020 amended residential solid waste and recycling collection franchise agreement for all unincorporated areas of Santa Rosa County, Waste Pro “shall provide one bear-resistant cart in lieu of a Solid Waste Cart upon the request of the customer.”
Additionally, the contract goes on to state: “Such cart shall be provided for an additional fee…Additional bear-resistant carts may be obtained for the same additional fee.”
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has identified securing trash as a priority when it comes to reducing human-bear conflicts.
Per FWC, most wildlife conflicts can be resolved by making simple changes such as removing attractants, including using commerically-manufactured bear-resistant trash cans.
FWC data shows the agency receives more than 500 calls about bears in south Santa Rosa County each year. Some of those calls are related to bears damaging property and/or attacking or killing pets.
Waste Pro’s franchise agreement with the county will expire December 31, 2025.