Help reduce human-wildlife conflict by locking your bins Print Article Font Size

bins-latch.jpgIt’s the time of year when bears and other wildlife are venturing in to the community in search of food after a long winter. Black Bears have an extremely good sense of smell and can smell food from over a kilometre away.

That is why we are urging residents to keep garbage bins locked on all days other than pickup day as explained on the stickers attached to the new bear-resistant lockable bins. The Town is working to outfit the entire community with the new bear-resistant lockable bins over the next 2 years and asks that residents help do their part in the meantime.

Please make every effort to keep all bins – the new and old models - in a shed, a garage or an enclosure to ensure bears don't have access to them. If you do not have a place to store your bin, and you have an older model, there are many DIY methods to secure your bin that can be effective - using straps for example.

Though we are aware that no residential curbside collection bin on the market is 100% bear proof, we do know that the lockable bins, when used properly, are effective in reducing human wildlife conflicts over time.

And, just as it will take time for residents to change their behaviour, it will also take time for the problem bears to change theirs. The problem bears in our community have learned where the food sources are. The Conservation Officer service and WildSafe BC have been clear in stating that if we are consistent in using the locking bins correctly, eventually the bears will search out food sources elsewhere. WildSafe BC also advises regularly washing all recycling items and cleaning the bins that contain garbage or recycling. The organization also suggests freezing smelly items if you cannot store garbage securely and adding to the bin only on the morning of collection.

If your bin is damaged in any way, please report it to and we will do our best to find out the cause of the damage and determine a replacement as soon as possible. If the bins and/or clips are broken, it is up to the home owner to report this. Not reporting the damage may result in fines. In most cases, the Town will absorb the costs of fixing the damage provided it occurred due to reasons beyond your control. Because VP waste is contracted by the Town, they will likely issue the replacement.

If you are like many in the community that work very early and cannot wait for pick up times to unlock your bin, please ask your neighbour if they can help you out. From an enforcement perspective, we will try to be as accommodating as possible and we understand that everyone has different living circumstances.

Residents are advised that we will continue, particularly in the spring and late fall, to conduct random (this could include evenings) and targeted inspections of garbage bins on residential properties per our authority under provincial law. Unlocked new bear bins and unsecured original garbage bins found will likely result in fines levied to the owner, particularly in areas where bears are being spotted.

If you are in need of advice or assistance for an immediate conflict with wildlife, please call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 or dial #7277 on your cell.