The bears are awake, and residents are responsible for their garbage bins

Submitted

It’s the time of year when bears and other wildlife are venturing into the community in search of food after a long winter.

Black bears have an extremely good sense of smell and can smell food from more than a kilometre away.

That is why the Town of Golden is urging residents to keep garbage bins locked on all days other than pickup day as explained on the stickers attached to the new bear-resistant lockable bins.

This spring, the Town of Golden will have outfitted the entire community with the new bins and we ask that residents help do their part.

Please make every effort to keep all bins in a shed, a garage, or an enclosure to ensure bears don’t have access to them.

Though the Town of Golden is aware that no residential curbside collection bin on the market is 100 per cent bear proof, they do know that the lockable bins, when used properly, are effective in reducing human wildlife conflicts over time.

And, just as it will take time for residents to change their behaviour, it will also take time for the problem bears to change theirs.

The problem bears in the community have learned where the food sources are.

The Conservation Officer Service and WildSafe BC have been clear in stating that if residents are consistent in using the locking bins correctly, eventually the bears will search out food sources elsewhere. WildSafe BC also advises regularly washing all recycling items and cleaning the bins that contain garbage or recycling. The organization also suggests freezing smelly items if residents cannot store garbage securely and adding to the bin only on the morning of collection.

If your bin is damaged in any way, please report it by e-mail to bylaw@golden.ca and Town of Golden staff will do their best to find out the cause of the damage and determine a replacement as soon as possible.

If the bins and/or clips are broken, it is up to the home owner to report this.

Not reporting the damage may result in fines. In most cases, the Town will absorb the costs of fixing the damage provided it occurred due to reasons beyond your control.

Because VP Waste is contracted by the Town, they will likely issue the replacement.

If you are like many in the community that work very early and cannot wait for pick up times to unlock your bin, please ask your neighbour if they can help you out.

From an enforcement perspective, the Town will try to be as accommodating as possible as we understand that everyone has different living circumstances.

Residents are advised that the Town will continue to conduct random (this could include evenings) and targeted inspections of garbage bins on residential properties per their authority under provincial law, particularly in the spring and late fall.

Unlocked and unsecured bear bins found will likely result in fines levied to the owner, particularly in areas where bears are being spotted.

Anyone in need of advice or assistance for an immediate conflict with wildlife, can call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 or dial #7277 on a cellphone.

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