WildSafeBC released a reminder that they will be canvassing the communities of Kimberley throughout the 2021 season to ensure garbage cats must be stored properly and securely.
“The garbage carts are only effective if stored correctly,” WildsafeBC Kimberley-Cranbrook coordinator Danica Roussy said. “This means inaccessible to wildlife at all times and stored inside a secure building or chained to a secure anchor point — for example a strong railing or post — so that a bear cannot drag it away.”
WildSafe says that there have been lots of garbage carts put out on the curb the evening before collection day, which is a violation of Kimberley’s Solid Waste Bylaw #2520. You should only put your cart out after 5 a.m on the morning of collection.
WildSafeBC’s garbage tagging is an educational program they conduct alongside Kimberley’s bylaw officer, who will either warn or fine residents for violating the Solid Waste Bylaw in an effort to minimize urban wildlife conflicts including with animals such as bears and raccoons.
Garbage tagging entails the placing of highly visible stickers on garbage bins that have been put out for pickup before the designated time.
“Garbage tagging is an important activity that accomplishes two goals,” Roussy explained. “First, it encourages residents to modify their behaviour when it comes to placing garbage out before they should, and secondly, it provides us with statistics as to how widespread a problem this is in various neighbourhoods throughout the province.
“Garbage is the number one attractant across the province in terms of bringing bears into conflict and it contributes to secondary problems with coyotes, raccoons, skunks, deer, ravens, and rats as well as a host of others.”
Reducing odors in your bin by doing things like placing particularly foul garbage into plastic bags and cleaning out the bin regularly or bringing garbage directly to the free-to-use Transfer Station in Marysville when you have an excessive amount is another good way to prevent wildlife conflicts.
“If your cart is stored correctly as per the above criteria, thank you so much for your efforts!” Roussy said. “Pass the message on; let’s keep wildlife wild and our community safe.”