Conservation Officers report bears are already active in many neighbourhoods across the Central Okanagan. (File photo)

Conservation Officers report bears are already active in many neighbourhoods across the Central Okanagan. (File photo)

Only you can prevent bears from getting trashed

Regional District of the Central Okanagna has a limited supply of bear-resistant carts

Smarter than average bears are about to meet smarter than average garbage bins.

Conservation officers report bears are already active in many neighbourhoods across the Central Okanagan, browsing garbage carts for food. The Regional District Central Okanagan (RDCO) now has a limited supply of certified bear-resistant carts available for purchase at a subsidized rate of $75 including delivery. They’re designated only for curbside customers living in high bear-interface areas.

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is asking residents to keep neighbourhoods safe by managing anything that attracts bears and other wildlife around their homes, including household garbage.

“When bears come out of hibernation they’re hungry, looking for food,” says Rae Stewart, waste reduction facilitator. “The best advice if you live in an area with wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict and take responsibility for your trash. That means making sure you don’t put your garbage cart at the curb the night before, only the morning of pick-up.”

Stewart also suggests storing waste and recycling carts inside a shed, enclosure or garage and removing other attractants such as bird feeders and pet food. Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell.

“The idea is to not attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they find your waste, they can make a real mess, and also become food-conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you, your family, your pets, neighbours and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

The regional district is also partnering with WildSafeBC in providing bear awareness across Central Okanagan. The program resumes in mid-May, and helps to monitor carts put out the night before, bear and wildlife activity in general, as well as provides education for residents.

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@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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