BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Bears rummaging through trash cans has been a common sight in the western sections of Boulder, and the city is responding with new rules to try to prevent it.

Starting this Wednesday Boulder’s bear protection ordinance goes into effect. A majority of the city’s west side residents will be required to make sure their trash cans are bear-proof.

Many residents have already put trash bins with locks in place that block bears from getting in them. Buzzy Jackson is using one, and she told CBS4 she thinks it’s a good idea.

“I think if it helps at all for bears to just not be getting into trash and getting acclimated to being around humans and eating stuff that’s bad for them then I think it’s good,” Jackson said.

Jackson said using the new containers took a little bit of getting used to.

Wildlife experts say once a bear learns that trash containers they can get into are a good source of food they almost always come back.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Last summer four bears were killed in the city because they had become a nuisance. That led the city to pass the ordinance.

George Williams said he and his family spotted one in the night in their backyard.

“They actually got into the first can we had and bent the lid so it was sort of useless to keep other bears out,” Williams said.

Boulder officials will be implementing the new ordinance by zone, starting with those living west of Broadway and south of Hawthorne Avenue.

If someone is caught violating the ordinance the fine will be $250. That amount increases to $1,000 if someone winds up with three or more violations.

RELATED: Boulder Council Approves Bear-Proof Trash Can Ordinance

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