Police are appealing for information after a bin was taken from the children's playground at Riverside Park in Ilkley over the weekend and thrown in to the river.
Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks say they will be making efforts to rescue the bear over the next few days with help from the council's parks department - and return him to the playground.
Police say the bin is worth £600.
Doug Mowat, one of the trustees of the friends group, told Ilkley Chat: "It is disconcerting to note that anyone would resort to such wanton vandalism and it is beyond comprehension that they would derive any satisfaction/pleasure/entertainment from such an act.
"We have invested a significant amount of time and money in the playground to provide a facility for the town and visitors alike that we can be proud of. The novelty bins are an important and expensive feature of the park to encourage young children to dispose of litter responsibly.
"Hopefully you will understand our concern and disappointment that anyone could be so disrespectful and treat the facilities in the park with such disdain. We are a small group of volunteers working hard and raising funding to improve the facilities and ambience of the park. Acts such as this can be soul-destroying."
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police by calling 101 and quoting reference number 13230695058. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Friends of Ilkley Riverside Parks via their website.