After lying low all winter, the bears in Mammoth have started to wake up and hit the town. As Town Officials continue to debate bear management, staff has stared an aggressive push to keep the bears out of the dumpsters in town.
Due to budget tightening, human resources Director Michael Grossblatt is filling in for former Mammoth Code Compliance Officer Rick Ramirez. Ramirez has moved on to a new job in Inyo County and wont be replaced for now.
Cleland Hoff spoke to Grossblatt about this push to keep the trash away from the bears and other wildlife. Grossblatt says that he goes out two to three times a day looking for garbage spilling out of dumpsters. While there is the possibility of a $250 fine, he says that “no one should tolerate spills, it’s bad for wildlife, not to mention we all love our town clean and trash free.”
Fixing and upgrading the dumpsters is another part of the effort. The green self latching human proof, dumpsters work, Grossblatt says, but they’re expensive. Bears can use their brawn and brains to break into the counter balance dumpsters, the ones with the handlebars. When those break, Grossblatt explained that a chain and carabiner are welded on. The problem is that people don’t take the time to latch the chain shut.
Whether the effort pays off is yet to be seen. There were reports of a family of bears getting into a recycle container on Meridian Tuesday night.