Thank you for your article about bear encounters [“Close Encounters of the Ursine Kind: Bear-human Conflicts Are Getting More Intense,” June 7, Xpress]. I think one way to increase the number of folks who have bearproof garbage bins is for the city of Asheville to put this high on the priority list and fund it with tourist tax dollars. Businesses need to contribute. The city of Asheville needs to get serious, do more and make the bearproof bins accessible.
If you look at the city’s website about bearproof bins, you will see it is still in pilot project phase. If you want one of these bins, you are put on a waiting list. My neighbor stated that she was on the waiting list for a year and a half!
You also have to sign up by giving your water bill account number. I am a renter and do not have a water bill. Many landlords pay water and trash.
If you buy a bearproof bin yourself, you are looking at paying more than $350. The cost of living here is sky-high — parking, rents and other inflated prices. So it is less likely people will opt to pay that $350-plus for a bin.
This is a citywide issue, a public service issue.
People pay plenty enough in property tax. Stop using tax-dollar income for advertising for more tourism.
— Tamera Trexler