Bears are out and about in the Kimberley area in search of food after emerging from hibernation and WildSafeBC is reminding residents to keep their garbage in a secure location until the morning of collection.
Danica Roussy, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator for Kimberley/Cranbrook says that placing garbage bins on the curb the night before pickup is against the City’s bylaw.
“Garbage is the number one attractant for black bears and therefore we must be mindful on storing it properly,” she said. “Bears have a sense far greater than that of dogs and it is this sense of smell that helps them locate food at great distances.”
The City of Kimberley’s website states that garbage bins are to be placed curbside no earlier than 5 a.m. on collection day and no later than 7 a.m..
She suggests the following tips for storing garbage: store it in a secure building until collection day such as a garage or basement, ensure bins are tightly closed, regularly wash the bins as well as all recycling items and do not leave garbage in the back of a truck even with a canopy.
“If you cannot store garbage securely, freeze smelly items and add to the bin only on the morning of collection,” Roussy said. Additionally, residents can take their garbage to the transfer station if they do not have a secure location to store it.
As part of the educational portion of WildSafeBC’s program, they will be visiting various neighbourhoods across Kimberley this summer to do weekly garbage tagging. Garbage bins that are placed on the curb the night before pickup will be targeted.
“These targeted bins will receive a bright yellow sticker that serves as a warning to residents that their garbage is an attractant,” Roussy said.
If you see a bear in your neighbourhood, be sure to report it to the WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) that is available through their website at warp.wildsafebc.com. This month close to 20 black bear sightings were reported in Kimberley through the program, which allows users to state wether or not the bear is food conditioned.