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Bear Smart Tips

Castlegar is home to bears and other wildlife. These animals sometimes visit neighbourhoods because they are attracted by waste.

The City and WildSafeBC remind residents to manage bear attractants to keep our community safe and avoid the preventable destruction of bears. Reporting sightings or conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Reduce Odours

Freeze Food Waste

Freeze smelly food items (meat, bones, rotten fruit, etc.) and add them to your organics cart on your collection day.

Remove Excess Waste

Take excess garbage to the landfill and excess yard waste to the City’s Yard Waste Disposal Site or the landfill.

Clean Carts & Bins

Clean your carts regularly. Add ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup of Borax to absorb odours. Fun Fact: Bears hate the smell of ammonia. Spraying your cart lid with an ammonia based cleaner acts as a deterrent. Don’t foget to clean BBQs after each use as well!

Manage Attractants

Pick Up Domestic Fruits & Nuts

Pick all domestic fruit and nuts as they ripen. Need help? Join the City and WildSafeBC program, Harvest Match. We match tree-owners with local people ready to pick unwanted fruit and nuts to reduce food waste and bear attractants. Have a tree? Want to pick and harvest? On Facebook, join us at Harvest Match Castlegar. Or email us at

Install Electric Fencing

Remove Animal Food

Remove bird seed and feeders until winter. Feed pets inside. Store pet food inside.

Store Carts Properly

Store Carts Inside

Lock and store carts in a secure building between collections.

Report Damaged Clips

If your cart or clips are damaged, contact the City at 250-365-5979.

Lock & Chain Outside Carts

Carts left outside must have both clips locked and be chained to a strong post or tree between collections. Lock and secure outdoor freezers too! It is more difficult for bears to break into items that are fixed upright.

Know Your Collection Window

Only place carts on the curb with clips unlocked between 4:00 am – 7:00 am on your collection day. Fines may be issued for carts not secured or placed on the curb outside of collection windows.

Reporting Bear Sightings or Conflicts

Report bear sightings or conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 so they are aware of problem areas and can help before the animal becomes food conditioned and or habituated.

“Castlegar has achieved WildSafeBC Bear Smart community status, which means we are dedicated to keeping bears safe and reducing human-bear conflict,” says Tracey Butler, the City’s Director of Corporate Services. WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions.

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