American Black Bears are common in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Unfortunately, human activity has allowed bears to become habituated to human food and garbage. Bears that become human habituated or food conditioned in general, are euthanized, not relocated. Please heed the warning: “A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear.” Black Bears will seek to avoid confrontation with humans. If encountered, always leave them an escape route. However, bears that are accustomed to getting food from human sources, such as unlocked dumpsters, can become too bold and lose their fear of humans.To avoid this behavior, do not let bears get used to eating garbage. Below are resources and tips on how to be bear aware. 

Residential Trash Service Information

Best option: Lock your trash in an animal-resistant metal enclosure (Bear Shed / Bear Box), for more information visit our webpage Bear Proof Container & Bear Box Placement.

2nd best option: Keep your trash in an animal-resistant cart. Animal resistant poly-carts are now available to rent in Incline Village / Crystal Bay. Contact Waste Management at (775)831-2971 for information.

Less effective residential options: 

  • Trash storage in a lockable building with curbside placement, only after 5 am, on the morning of pick-up is permitted. However, this practice is strongly discouraged, since bears have broken into buildingsfor trash. Curbside spills from non-locking containerscan incur violations.
  • Drop-off of equivalent curbsideservice is available 7 days a week at the InclineTransfer Station for residential customers. TheTransfer Station is located at 1200 Sweetwater Road, Incline Village NV 89451. Proof of residency ID required. General Hours: 8 am to 4 pm. (775) 831-2971 or (775) 833-6251.

Helpful Tips:

  • Keep garage and home doors closed, except for immediate use.
  • Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
  • Keep barbecue grills clean.
  • Securely block access to sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings to reduce the potential of hibernation under structures.
  • Keep doors and windows secure from intrusions. Scents can lure bears inside.
  • When unoccupied, empty homes of all food and scented products.
  • Do not allow wildlife and other pests to attack trash or waste.
  • Spray your cans with ammonia or Pine Sol.
  • NEVER feed wildlife.
  • Keep your pet food inside.

Commerical Trash/Recycling Service Information

All owners are responsible for properly managing waste on their property. Owners who do not properly contain waste or place trash out at the curb prior to trash day are subject of fines up to $1,000 per incident and staff fees.

Additional Resources

  • In an emergency, call 911. DO NOT call 911 to report bear sightings. 
  • To report a trash problem (out on wrong day / trash spill / open dumpster): email or complete the form on the Talk2IVGID webpage or phone app.
  • For more information on wildlife resistant trash containment IVGID Waste Not Conservation Programs: (775) 832-1284; email:
  • For general BEAR AWARE information contact the BEAR League at (530) 525-PAWS, website:
  • NDOW: (775) 688-BEAR, website:
  • Get Bear Smart Society, website:
  • Tahoe Council for Wild Bears, website: