Wildlife & Garbage

The primary cause of human and black bear conflict is the availability of unsecured human food sources such as trash, bird seed or domestic fruit. Once a bear becomes accustomed to being around people and to relying on the easy, high-calorie meals found in trash cans, the probability of conflict increases, along with that of the bear being killed.

  1. City of Durango Wildlife Ordinance
  2. Code enforcement and reporting
  3. Request a wildlife-resistant trash container
  4. Businesses
  5. More information

City of Durango Ordinance O-2018-6 establishes regulations for the security and placement of residential and commercial wildlife trash containers in order to help reduce human-wildlife conflict:

  • It is unlawful for any property owner or occupant within the city to fail to prevent wildlife from removing or scattering trash.
  • All trash and recycling containers must be secured or stored to prevent wildlife from accessing their contents. 
  • All residences within the priority wildlife areas are required to have and maintain wildlife-resistant trash containers.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife study on reducing conflicts with bears

From 2011-2015, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) partnered with the City of Durango to study effective methods for reducing human-bear conflicts. View an overview of the CPW study (PPT), or a PDF version (PDF).

The study found that human-bear conflicts were increasing but that distributing wildlife-resistant trash containers reduced conflicts by 50%. In 2018, the City began distributing full-automated wildlife-resistant trash containers to areas identified as having particularly high bear activity through the CPW study in two phases.