Keep bears out of your trash

A black bear looks up from rifling through the garbage in the front yard of a home in Juneau, Alaska, on July 6, 2014. (Becky Bohrer/THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo)

News release:

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding residents-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 are regularly spotted in several neighborhoods from South East Kelowna to West Kelowna and Peachland. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says that means we need 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 - reduce your risk of conflict- 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 have access to your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food conditioned. Then they 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 is now into phase two of a pilot project testing 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, and winter conditions, there may be bear resistant cart options for residents by next year.”

WildSafeBC has tips you can follow to help keep wildlife wild and the community safe:

  • Secure your garbage – store it in a secure location indoors or a bear-resistant enclosure. Also secure Yard Waste cart if it contains fruit.
  • 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 needed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen waste until the morning of collection day
  • Manage your fruit trees, pick ripe & fallen fruit immediately
  • Maintain your compost so it doesn’t smell. Add fruit slowly. No meat/dairy.
  • Use birdbaths and houses to attract birds, instead of bird feeders

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

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit the WildSafeBC website: https://wildsafebc.com/species/black-bear/