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News Release

Valleywide ordinances require wildlife-friendly trash, grease management practices

Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Jun 23, 2017

Contact Information:

Kate Rusch, Public Information Officer, Town of Estes Park, [970] 577-3701,; Michelle Bird, Public Affairs Manager, Larimer County, [970] 498-7015,

After a lengthy public process, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners recently adopted a Wildlife Protection Ordinance for the Estes Valley Planning Area that requires wildlife-friendly trash management practices. The ordinance complements the Town of Estes Park’s existing Wildlife Protection Ordinance, paving the way for a more wildlife-friendly environment in the Estes Valley. Larimer County will begin enforcing its new ordinance Sept. 1, 2017. Residents are encouraged to help protect wildlife by complying with the ordinances. Ordinance details are available at map of the applicable areas).

Recent updates to the Town’s 2015 Wildlife Protection Ordinance clarify the definitions of wildlife-resistant enclosures and attractants, as well as adding requirements to make grease bins inaccessible to wildlife. These details are mirrored by Larimer County’s ordinance. The Town’s ordinance also requires that bird feeders are suspended on a cable or other device at a height above the ground or structure so it is inaccessible to bears April through November of each year.
Grease bins must also be wildlife-resistant or contained within a wildlife-resistant enclosure. The Town’s ordinance specifically states, “Grease bin means a fully enclosed container designed to store used food service grease and oil. Shall be of design and sufficient strength to prevent opening by wildlife. All grease bins shall be designed and constructed with sufficient supports to prevent tipping of the grease bin by animals. Food service establishments shall deposit all oil and grease from their operations within grease bins, and the grease bins shall be located within wildlife resistant containers or wildlife resistant enclosures.”
The ordinances set specific standards for storage of refuse located outside an enclosed structure (such as a residential or commercial building, shed or garage). Refuse is defined as any waste that could reasonably attract wildlife including, but not limited to, kitchen organic waste, food, food packaging, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, spices, seasonings, oil and grease. Requirements for refuse containment do not apply to glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, aluminum, textiles, electronics, nonedible yard maintenance waste, construction materials and household items when not commingled with food waste attractants.
Residential refuse should be stored in a typical hard-sided trash container with secured lid and placed outside on pickup day only between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Trash service bags must be inside a hard-sided container. Residents who leave refuse outside before 6 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on pickup day must use a wildlife-resistant container or enclosure.
Businesses (including vacation rental homes and special events) must store refuse in a wildlife-resistant container or wildlife-resistant enclosure at all times. Wildlife-resistant dumpsters are readily available locally, and in many cases there is no cost to upgrade. Oil and grease must be stored in a wildlife-resistant container. Nonwildlife-resistant trash containers 95 gallons or less are allowed if emptied by 10 p.m. daily or contracted for pickup service overnight.
For more information on the Estes Valley ordinance, visit call Larimer County Code Compliance at 970-498-7700. For more information on the Town of Estes Park ordinance, please visit 970-586-4000
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