Juneau assembly considers metal lids for large trash containers

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- The city's industrial trash containers may be in line for some heavier lids to deal with garbage bears.

Juneau's city-borough assembly on Monday worked on an ordinance that would require people to replace plastic lids with metal versions on Dumpsters that have been opened by bears.

The draft ordinance was sent back to an assembly committee for further work. Assemblyman Dale Anderson said the goal is to make the ordinance stronger.

''This bear ordinance needs stricter guidelines, not looser,'' he said.

The ordinance gives bears one free lunch before a metal lid is required, said Dave Palmer, city manager.

''If we say all Dumpsters have to have metal lids, we'll have a lot of folks out of compliance,'' he said. ''If we go with this provision, we'll focus on areas with a problem and go to where the problem is.''

Instead of metal lids, residents also would have the option to put a large trash bin into a city-approved walled area or enclosure.

The proposal is part of a city plan to protect bears and people. The effort emphasizes enforcement, education and stronger garbage rules.

Waste Management Inc. services about 600 Dumpsters in town and about 40 have metal lids, according to Maria Gladziszewski, a city staff member. Metal lids cost $11 a month to rent on a small Dumpster and $20 to $25 a month for a larger container. The purchase price is $200 to $500, she said.

Assemblyman Jim Powell said the ordinance would phase in metal lids. Requiring metal lids on all containers would be a financial burden on the private sector, he said.

Juneau resident Dennis Harris urged metal lids for every container.

''We're giving people who are too cheap to do it a free ride,'' he said.

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