Sonja Seher, Kimberley/Cranbrook WildSafe BC Community Coordinator, paid a visit to City Council this week to discuss ways the City could assist her mission to reduce mishandled garbage.
Seher says that stats show that improperly stored garbage accounts for 57 per cent of problem bears.
She says she has done a couple of night-time neighbourhood drive bys to see if people are putting garbage out the night before, which is against the City’s garbage bylaw.
“I noticed 21 cans out in Blarchmont alone,” she said.
It is around the issue of compliance and enforcement that Seher seeks City help.
She can go out and identify homes where garbage is set out the evening before, she says, and tag the garbage, but she has no authority to issue tickets.
She suggested that the City Bylaw Officer could join her on a few of these night-time ‘garbage raids’, to help with repeat offenders.
Chief Corporate Officer Kelly Harms said that it would have to work within the collective agreement, but it was quite possible to arrange a few outings with the bylaw officer.
Seher also suggested that the City’s garbage bylaw was in need of an update, particularly around the issue of whether garbage cans are required.
“Literature going out to residents says cans are encouraged but the bylaw says bags. The bylaw is not up to speed.”
Coun. Albert Hoglund said that the union would have to be worked with on that because they were the ones who convinced Council to opt for bags because of repetitive motion injuries.
Seher also suggested that in the future, community bear proof bins for problem neighbourhoods would be a good idea.