Nearly all of the 800 households, and some businesses too, received 1,700 brand new blue and green receptacles from Mid Valley Disposal last week. The delivery of the new cans bring Three Rivers customers into compliance with state regulations that mandate all trash haulers in residential areas use a three-can system.
Can number one is the familiar brown can for garbage, food waste, and non-recyclables. That can is placed street-side by Wednesday evening and collected every Thursday morning starting about 6 a.m.
This is the can for which many locals are devising a lock system to keep the garbage from the clutches of a hungry bear. Mid Valley Disposal is supportive of any customer who wants to alter their can to accommodate a lock.
“If a locking mechanism is installed on your can, we encourage you to unlock the receptacle prior to the driver picking up the can,” said Isaac Kulikoff, South Valley operations manager for Mid Valley. “If you forget to unlock it or are unable to, we have instructed the driver to unlock and empty the can.”
Can number two is the blue one for recyclables. Three Rivers does an extraordinary job of recycling and even cleans most of the containers before disposal, Kulikoff said. Recyclables are collected every other Wednesday with the next collection scheduled for November 18.
Can number three, the new green can (and some older black cans), are used for disposal of green,materials like leaves, yard cuttings, small tree branches, and any type of organic refuse. Compostable food waste would be permissible but is not advised in the green cans if no bear-proof locking mechanism is installed.
In the past, most Three Rivers residents have declined to make the extra effort to use the cans for yard waste because they can obtain a permit and burn these materials seasonally during the months after the first significant rainfall. Kulikoff said the green can is included in the typical monthly billing of $27.25 so gradually more folks are opting to use all three cans.
The next scheduled collection date for the residential green cans is November 11.
“The company realizes we have an issue with bears getting into trash so it’s our policy to work with the Three Rivers community within the terms of our present contract,” Kulikoff said. “As bear-proof dumpsters become available, we’ll provide them for our Three Rivers shared customers.”
Bear proof and company approved— One possible solution for brown can users is the 96-gallon “Toter Black-Bear-Tight Wheeled Trash Can.” The Toter bear-proof can is compatible with Mid Valley’s trucks and retails for $229 at Home Depot and Walmart. (The latch still has to be opened prior to collection of the trash.)
A bear-proof Toter is currently being tested in Three Rivers and if it works, a wildlife grant will be sought to provide a cost share for residents who can’t purchase the pricey can on their own. In the meantime, contact bearproof3R@gmail.com to outfit a trash can for a materials cost of $20.