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RDCO to launch bear-resistant garbage cart pilot project in light of confirmed sightings

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is launching a new pilot project involving bear-resistant garbage carts.

It comes after several confirmed bear sightings in neighborhoods throughout southeast Kelowna, West Kelowna and Peachland.

The carts will be distributed throughout select neighbourhoods starting this fall, and depending on how well they work, they will become an available option for all in the future.

<who>Photo credit: City of Prince George</who> A bear-resistant garbage can from Prince George

However, before the new carts are made readily available, the RDCO is reminding residents to do their part to keep neighbourhood's bear-safe.

While bears usually tend to munch on berries or another wild critter, those who have grown accustomed to city life will definitely assume your trash is their treasure — especially this close to hibernation.

“This is the time of year bears amp up their foraging to build fat stores for winter denning,” said Rae Stewart, waste reduction facilitator with the RDCO.

“The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict and take responsibility for your trash.”

Stewart adds one way to reduce the risk of a visiting hungry bear is by remembering to put your secured trash outside on the morning of pick up day, not the night before.

“Bears, in particular, have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily,” said Stewart.

“If they find your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food-conditioned and pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbors, and themselves.”

In addition, WildSafe BC has some helpful tips to keep the bears at bay such as:

  • Store your garbage securely inside your garage or shed
  • Freeze kitchen scraps
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered
  • Pick ripe or fallen fruit and use bird feeders only in the winter.

<who>Photo credit: Jacqueline McGrath</who> This bear was spotted swiping plums from a backyard in peachland

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