marker2140 Ruth Avenue, CA marker(530) 541-5105
marker(530) 541-5105

Be Bear Aware

Living in, visiting, and doing business in bear country comes with unique challenges and certain responsibilities. It is critical that we all take responsibility for ensuring bears and other animals do not access trash in search of food. Check out tips on how to manage your trash from our local bear experts at

If you’re interested in installing a bear box to secure your trash, South Tahoe Refuse is working with our local jurisdiction partners through the South Tahoe Waste Management Authority to administer a no-interest loan program.

Bear Boxes

Please keep in mind a few key points when considering participation in the Bear Box Loan Program:

Key Points of Bear Box Loan Program
  • The bear box loan program is available to residential property owners. Proof of ownership through current tax rolls is required at the time of application.
  • The bear box loan program will pay up to $1,300 to the installer; any amount above $1,300 is the responsibility of the home owner.
  • Only approved bear boxes can be installed ( enclosures).
  • Installer must meet all requirements/ordinances for installation by City/County/STR standards.
  • Payments for the Bear Box Loan Program are spread over five years and must be made separately to STR. They are NOT included with regular garbage service bills. Homeowners will receive a separate statement for the Bear Box Loan Program.
  • Participation in the loan program requires loan documents to be signed before payment can be made to your installer.  Until loan papers are properly executed, you are responsible for the purchase of your bear box and any outstanding balances with the installer.
Important Bear Box Information
  • The use of Bear Boxes must be incorporated with garbage cans, not instead of. They are not garbage receptacles. City and County ordinances require trash to be in containers, such as cans with lids.
  • Bear box enclosures shall be located 10 feet maximum from a county-maintained road or other roads if subject to garbage service pickup. 
  • STR does not fix, maintain, or warranty bear boxes. Bear boxes are the responsibility of the homeowner, and must be kept free of obstacles/snow/debris to allow for garbage collection service by STR employees.
Approved Bear Box Vendors:

Langenfeld Ace (installs only) – Manufactured by No Bear Can Brenda; tel.:(775) 884-9353; NO BEAR CAN (

BEARSTOPPER tel.: (209) 890-3345;

Bear Box Loan Program Approved:

Tahoe Bear Box – tel.: (530) 546-3154;

Bear Box Loan Program Instruction Packet

The enclosed packet includes the loan application, step-by-step instructions for homeowners, and requirements for their installers when obtaining a Bear Box through this loan program

Processing your application

To ensure processing of your application, please return the loan application, proof of ownership, and $50 administration fee to:

South Tahoe Refuse
2140 Ruth Ave.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

BearWise Tips

Bear Season

It’s always bear season in the Lake Tahoe Basin! Keep bins closed and locked, contain all garbage to protect from animal access.

Be a part of the solution to mitigate animal access.
  • Do not put out garbage and recycling until the morning of collection.
  • Use cans with tight fitting lids, even inside bear boxes.
  • Make sure bear boxes are secure.
  • If you use a dumpster, be sure it is always closed and locked when not in use.
Be BearWise

Six At-Home BearWise Basics

  • Never feed or approach bears
  • Secure food, garbage, and recycling
  • Remove bird feeders when bears are active
  • Never leave pet food outdoors
  • Clean and store grills
  • Alert neighbors to bear activity
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