Another reminder about bears

Bear aware

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding-please do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by managing all things that attract wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.

Conservation Officers confirm bears have already been spotted in several neighborhoods from South East Kelowna to West Kelowna and Peachland. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says that means it’s time to be extra vigilant. “This is the time of year bears amp up their foraging to build fat stores for winter denning. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict and take responsibility for your trash.”

Stewart reminds residents to securely store their trash and only put garbage out the day of pickup, not the night before. “Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they find your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbors, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart adds the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with their waste contractor E360s will be conducting a pilot project of new fully automated bear resistant garbage carts in select neighborhoods this fall. “Dependent on the results of the pilot and how those carts stand up to bear activity, there may be new bear resistant cart options for residents in the future.”

Wildsafe BC has tips you can follow to keep wildlife wild and help prevent conflict:

  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbors to do the same, offer to help if they are not able to put garbage out at appropriate times
  • Secure your garbage on non-collection days - store it securely in your home or in a garage or shed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen scraps until the morning of collection day
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered
  • Pick ripe or fallen fruit, mix well into your compost bin, or put in yard waste cart
  • Use birdfeeders only in the winter

Please report human-bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277