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Bear Season – Do Your Part to Help Protect Them

The City of Castlegar reminds residents to manage bear attractants to keep our community safe and avoid the preventable destruction of bears.

Spring weather is here, and the bears are coming out of hibernation early. They are hungry and are in Castlegar neighbourhoods sniffing out food sources. By being proactive at this time of year when the bears are waking up, we can minimize bears becoming habituated if they associate food rewards with garbage and organics carts.

The best way to keep people and bears safe is to restrict access to all sources of food by securing carts between collection days, ensuring carts are placed at the curb during the collection window, and continue reporting sightings or conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 so they are aware of problem areas and can help before animals become food conditioned and or habituated.

How can people help?

Your Curbside Garbage & Organics Carts

  • Lock and store carts in a secure building or enclosure between your collection days.
  • Carts left outside must have both clips locked and be chained to a strong post or tree between collections. It is more difficult for bears to break into a cart if it is fixed upright.
  • Freeze especially smelly food items. Add them to your organics cart on your collection day (i.e.: meat, bones, rotten fruit, etc.).
  • If your cart or clips are damaged, contact the City.
  • Take excess garbage to the landfill.

Cleaning Your Organics Cart

  • Line the bottom of your cart with newspaper, a paper bag or yard waste to absorb excess moisture and prevent food from sticking to the bottom. After collection, brush out anything remaining inside the bin and rinse with water over a landscaped area to remove residue.
  • Add ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of Borax to absorb odours.
  • Pour half a cup of white vinegar and some washing liquid into the bin and fill it half-full with hot water or wash out the bin with a mixture of salt, vinegar, and warm water.

Collection Times

  • Only place carts on the curb with clips unlocked no earlier than 4:00 a.m. and no later than 7:00 a.m. on your collection day.
  • If your carts are out later than 7:00 a.m. on your collection day, your contents may not be collected and could attract animals throughout the day.
  • Fines may be issued for carts not secured or placed on the curb outside of this collection time window.

Prevent Other Attractants

  • Pick all domestic fruit and nuts as they ripen.
  • Feed pets inside and store pet food inside.
  • Remove bird feeders until winter.
  • Keep BBQs clean.
  • Install electric fencing.
  • If you are a business, keep your outdoor grease bins or containers secure.


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