The City of Nanaimo has issued a warning to residents to keep trash collection bins secured on their properties until trash collection days to avoid attracting bears to neighbourhoods. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

The City of Nanaimo has issued a warning to residents to keep trash collection bins secured on their properties until trash collection days to avoid attracting bears to neighbourhoods. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Secure garbage to avoid attracting bears and being fined in Nanaimo, say officials

Trash collection carts must only be put out on collection days to avoid human-wildlife conflicts

City of Nanaimo, Regional District of Nanaimo and B.C. Conservation Officer Service are urging residents to stop putting garbage out the night before collection day and to keep carts secured on properties.

According to a city news release, leaving garbage and organic waste out, unsecured, is a threat to the safety of bears and humans. Garbage draws bears and is the attractant that results in half the bear-related problem calls made to the conservation officer service, the city says. Other bear attractants include bird seed, fruit trees, pet food and livestock.

Once a bear becomes conditioned to eat garbage and other attractants, they associate people with food and lose their fear of humans, resulting in hundreds of bears being destroyed in B.C. every year, said the press release.

READ ALSO: Classes back to normal at Nanaimo schools after bear sighting

To limit bear-human conflicts, especially in areas frequented by bears, the city is asking residents not to set out their garbage carts the night before collection, but wait until 5-8 a.m. on collection day. Carts should be removed from the curb after trash has been collected and carts should be stored in a secured location, such as a garage or shed. The guidelines apply especially to households located near the outer city limits, near parks or any location close to wildlife habitat.

To reduce odours from trash carts, smelly food should be wrapped in newspaper and frozen until collection day. Vinegar or baking soda can help eliminate odours and carts can be rinsed with soapy water, the city suggests.

Under the B.C. Wildlife Act, a person who leaves attractants accessible to dangerous wildlife can be fined $230 by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service and setting carts out the night before collection in areas bears frequent is an offence.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Early intervention is key to limiting human-wildlife conflicts, said the press release.

“The sooner the B.C. Conservation Officer Service knows about a bear in an area, the quicker action can be taken to secure attractants and prevent the bear from becoming food-conditioned,” said Caitlin Bickford, conservation officer with the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in the press release. “Too often people wait until the bear’s behaviour has escalated to the level of being a public safety risk, usually ending with the bear needing to be euthanized.”

Anyone who sees dangerous wildlife in their neighbourhood is asked to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on the Telus Mobility network.

To learn more, visit
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Most Read