At this moment, we in the city limits have been assigned by Mount Shasta City mayor and city council to have our garbage placed on the curb beginning April 1, by 5 a.m. or place our garbage out on the curb the night before. The city has hired a new company, Burney Disposal, from Burney, one hour and 11 minutes from Mount Shasta on Highway 89 route, a snowy route in winter.

We live in a mountain town. Placing garbage containers out the night before pickup or even 5 a.m. in the morning has in the past brought bears into our neighborhoods searching for food and tossing garbage cans of leftovers over the streets. I have witnessed that happen twice last year when new apartment dwellers moved in and placed their garbage out at 6 p.m. Sunday night for an 8 a.m. Monday pickup. Other animals are also attracted to garbage: raccoons, squirrels, crows, wild turkeys, feral cats from the meadows, sometimes bobcats. It is a dangerous situation we are setting up to have garbage pickup at 5 a.m. Bears and animals have a keen sense of smell and will make a habit of returning to places where food is found easily for them to devour.

It is unsafe for our children, seniors, and other adults to be on the street if a bear or two is around the garbage cans.

Children in this area walk to school. Will Burney Disposal do clean up on the street if food is thrown out of garbage cans?

I have heard there will be a cost increase by our new disposal company. The city council has not reported when the price will increase or how much it is. Surely, the contract signed by the city has the new prices negotiated.

In an email from California Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Jeff Villepique, Jeff wrote, “Please do not leave food and trash accessible to these animals. Not only is it unlawful and a citation can be issued, but having bears become habituated to trash and humans often means the bear will have to be destroy. Nuisance or trash bears are not relocated!”

I request that our City Council change the Garbage pickup time to 8 a.m., no sooner, to return to safer conditions in our town.

We also must be informed about any future price increase, now.

Let’s see if this disposal company can accommodate us. Otherwise, we need to find another company.

Violet Schindler

Mount Shasta