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WildSafeBC will be tagging garbage put out too early in Kimberley

Wildsafe BC Kimberley Cranbrook coordinator Danica Lisk is now at work for the season, until the end of November 2023.
WildsafeBC Kimberley/Cranbrook will be tagging garbage bins put out too early. WildsafeBC file

Wildsafe BC Kimberley Cranbrook coordinator Danica Lisk is now at work for the season, until the end of November 2023.

A big part of Lisk’s role is educating about avoiding conflict with black bears due to unsafe storing of attractants.

The biggest attractant is, of course, household garbage.

Kimberley has had a bylaw in place for several years around garbage. You are not to put it out until the day of pick up.

Lisk will be driving around Kimberley in the evenings, on the look out for garbage put out too early. If she sees garbage out in the evening, she will put a sticker on the bin. If an address is a repeat offender, information will be passed on to the city’s bylaw officer for a potential fine. WildSafeBC provides information on a city’s bylaws but does not enforce them.

“Garbage, compost, and recyclables set on the curb at night are attractants for many animals and is the leading cause of human-bear conflicts,” said Lisk in a press release. “Organic contents in our solid waste become an easy target and lead to food conditioning. Food conditioning is a learned behavior where animals begin to associate people, or our property, with a food reward. This can lead to safety concerns. With the absence of a food reward, wildlife is more likely to pass through our communities rather than remain to forage. This helps keep wildlife wild and improve community safety for our neighbours, friends, and family.”

Her advice is to keep your garbage, compost and recyclables stored in a secure indoor location at all times except on the day of collection. Even empty garbage cans or recyclables can have smells or provide visual cues that may prompt a bear to investigate. If you do not have a secure enclosure, and are not able to build one, then consider investing in certified bear-resistant containers that are secured to a structure so that they cannot be dragged away. You can also consider freezing smelly food waste until the morning of collection.

Wildsight also recommends a yearly audit of your property to make sure you have precautions in place to avoid attracting bears.

How we manage our living space has a great deal of influence on the amount of human-wildlife conflict we experience. We recommend a yearly self-audit of your outdoor living space and consider the following actions. when managing potential food sources for wildlife:

1. Do not store garbage outdoors; if you do not have a space indoors, consider using certified bear-resistant containers and securing them to something solid.

2. Pick up fallen fruit; after checking local bylaws consider electric fencing to protect your tree and prevent bears from accessing the fruit.

3. Remove bird feeders or hang them so that they are inaccessible to bears and other non-target species; do not let seed accumulate on the ground which will attract rodents, rats and other species; feed small amounts at a time and keep feeders clean; bears are also attracted to hummingbird feeders.

4. Do not feed pets outdoors; if you must, only provide what they will consume immediately and bring the dishes inside

5. Keep your barbecue clean; burn off any food residue and give the grill a thorough scrub after each use; empty the grease catcher after each use.

READ: WildSafeBC back in business for 2020 season

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Carolyn Grant

About the Author: Carolyn Grant

I have been with the Kimberley Bulletin since 2001 and have enjoyed every moment of it.
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