Our Community Is Going “Bear Aware”

Our Sabal Point Community is located next to major wilderness conservation areas and the Wekiva River Preserve.  As a result, wildlife including bears, deer, raccoons, coyotes and other animals enter the community seeking food.  Bears in particular can become accustomed to foraging in residential areas and lose their fear of human contact.  Bears that have become “habituated” to humans pose a potential hazard for residents, visitors and pets, and have been involved in bear attacks on several occasions. It is in the best interests of our community and the local bear population to be “Bear Aware” residents and limit the attraction of bears.

Why Bear-Resistant Containers?

Residents should not feed deer, bears, alligators or other wildlife since feeding concentrates animals and creates the risk of disease spread and reduced animal fear of humans.  Bear attractants must be controlled including:

  • Household refuse, picnic refuse and food waste on trash, used plates or other containers;
  • Pet foods, pet food leftovers and foods in accessible storage areas;
  • Bird seed in feeders or seed accumulations on the ground under feeding areas;
  • Barbeque grills with food accumulations, drippings or grease traps;
  • Refrigerators or freezers in garages or other exterior locations;
  • Vehicles containing food, groceries, coolers or bagged garbage;
  • Fruit trees (non-citrus), nut trees and berry trees or bushes.

Our homeowner association has mandated that all single-family owners in designated SPCSA villages store and dispose of household refuse and food-contaminated garbage in a lockable, 64-gallon “bear-resistant container”.  These containers have been approved by Seminole County Solid Waste and Waste Pro, our waste-hauling service, and are being provided at a subsidized price of about $42.13.  Other non-food-contaminated waste may be put out for pickup in regular trashcans on the day of pickup.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do I have to use the Bear-Resistant Container?

A: Yes. SPCSA’s modified deed restrictions specify that the lockable bear-resistant container must be used as the primary container for household refuse disposal once delivered by Seminole County.  Other trashcans can only be used for non-food-contaminated refuse after the primary container is filled and put out for collection.  Recycling bins should not contain food-contaminated waste items.

Q: How will I be charged for my container?

A:  Sentry Management will be mailing affected SPCSA homeowners a payment coupon for approximately $42.13 once the containers have been delivered to individual residences, probably within the next month or so.

Q: When can bear-resistant containers be put out for pickup?

A: Bear-resistant containers may be placed at the curb the night before designated trash collection.  Regular trashcans can only be put at the curb on the day of pickup.  Emptied containers should be removed by sundown the day of collection and stored in a location out of sight from the street or neighboring properties.

Q: What if my family wants to purchase a second container or needs repairs or a replacement?

A: Additional containers are available from our trash collection contractor at an individual homeowner price of about $126.  For details, delivery or repair information contact Waste Pro at 407-774-0800 or www.wasteprousa.com/seminolecounty/, or for more information visit: http://www.seminolecountyfl.gov/news/discounted-bear-resistant-refuse-containers.stml.

Q: What if neighbors are not using their bear-resistant containers?

A: Violations may be reported by contacting SPCSA/Marlo Sanders at Sentry Management or by calling Seminole County Solid Waste Customer Service at 407-665-2260.  A photo of violations with address and date information will be helpful.

Q: What if my container is damaged or won’t operate?

A: Report problems to Seminole County Solid Waste – Customer Service at 407-665-2260 or call Joshua Marshall at Seminole County Solid Waste at 407-665-2262.  Containers have a 3-year warranty and can be replaced during that time.

To learn more about being “Bear Aware”, residents can visit Florida Fish & Wildlife at http://www.myfwc.com/bear or Seminole County at www.bearawareseminole.com.

Thank you for helping keep our Community safe…for Sabal Point families and neighboring wildlife!