Bears and Dumpsters

In case you didn’t already know it bears love dumpsters. Dumpsters for bears are like an all you can eat buffet for people. Two nights ago two bears had as much as they could eat at our dumpster. The Voyageur Crew saw two bears out at the dumpster and chased them away. Unfortunately the bears returned again and again and again.

In the morning there was garbage all over the place. There were also huge piles of bear poo everywhere. They sure can make a mess.  What bothered me more than the bears getting into the garbage is what was in the garbage.

We take garbage for home owners with cabins at the end of the Gunflint Trail and on Saganaga Lake. We also have a recycling trailer on our property for plastic, glass, tin and aluminum. There’s a cardboard trailer about 13 miles down the trail and in Grand Marais there is a recycling center that accepts paper, magazines, printer cartridges and more.

The reason the bears got into the garbage is because people had placed bags outside of the dumpster because the dumpster was too full.  The dumpster was too full because people do not do a good job at separating their garbage. I found so many aluminum cans, plastic bottles and other materials that could be recycled that I was appalled.  I know people have to separate their garbage in the big cities so I’m not sure why they have a difficult time doing it on the Gunflint Trail.

I’ve been known to dig through the garbage and figure out who it is that is throwing away things that could be recycled. What type of bottled water a person drinks, what a person eats, it isn’t too hard to determine who the garbage belongs to especially when they throw away a magazine with their name on it.

I can’t blame the bears for getting into our garbage and making a huge mess. They are only doing what they are meant to do. Now if we can get everyone else doing what they should be doing with their recycleables the bears won’t need to make a mess of our garbage and no one will have to step in a pile of poo.

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