The RDKB is a beautiful home for people and wildlife. To make sure it stays that way, we each need to take responsibility for managing our garbage so it doesn’t attract wildlife and cause harm.
Over 60 percent of human-wildlife conflict calls to the BC Conservation Officer Service are due to garbage that is accessible to bears.
The majority of bear/garbage interaction takes place in people’s back yards and carports between garbage collection days. This means we have to be aware of bears and other wildlife when handling and storing garbage, recycling and organic waste.
Why are there bears in my yard?
Bears are attracted by anything that smells to them like it could be edible. If we contain or eliminate items that cause odours we remove a wildlife attractant. You can minimize a bear’s access to your garbage by following a few basic guidelines:
- Ensure your bins are bear resistant (visit WildSafe BC for tips)
- Store your garbage/green bin/recycling in a secure area – a shed, enclosed garage or basement
- Put out your garbage/green bin/recycling only on the morning of collection
- Use a liner or rinse your green bin/blue box after each use
The BC Wildlife Act requires us each to secure all wildlife attractants or face fines. Conservation Officers now have the authority to issue “Dangerous Wildlife Protection Orders” to owners or occupiers of land to have them contain, move or remove food, food waste, compost or garbage that may attract bears. If you want to report a known or suspected violation of fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws, use the RAPP form or call the 24/7 RAPP line at 1.877.952.7277.
How can I keep bears away from my compost?
If your compost pile isn’t properly aerated and isn’t getting enough oxygen, it will decompose anaerobically. Anaerobic decomposition produces methane which is both a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and a bear-attracting gas.
Use your curbside green bin collection service for items like dairy, meat and sugars. Smelly items such as cooked leftovers are very attractive to passing scavengers.
Design your compost bin right. Ensure it has adequate ventilation and can drain excess moisture. Many black plastic composters retain too much moisture, which can cause the pile to ‘go anaerobic.’
What else can I do to be bear aware?
Visit WildSafe BC for more information about how to reduce human-wildlife conflict, and make your yard or home less attractive to black bears or other wild (or domestic) scavengers.