Keep trash out of sight and hungry bears will stay away

Lake Country residents are urged not to let their garbage become a smorgasbord for area wildlife.

Lake Country residents are urged not to let their garbage become a smorgasbord for area wildlife.

This tip comes from the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s waste reduction office now that spring has arrived and bears are leaving hibernation hungry.

“The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce the risk of conflict by taking responsibility for your trash,” said Rae Stewart, waste reduction facilitator.

“Bears and other animals have a keen sense of smell, so the idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they find your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but could also pose a risk to you and your family, or to themselves by attracting the unnecessary attention of conservation officers.”

All garbage, yard waste and recycling carts in Lake Country need to be accessible for pickup and with lids unlocked for emptying between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the day of collection only.

Putting carts out the night before or days before pickup is due, or leaving them out on a continuous basis, will only add to the potential for critter trouble in your neighborhood.

The B.C. Conservation Foundation’s Bear Aware website also suggests keeping your garbage in a secured shed or garage until pickup day, and recommends not stockpiling or burying garbage.

As well, it reminds that fish and meat remains should not be left outside and suggests freezing or keeping them in a cool place until they can be placed into the garbage on your collection day.

You’re also reminded to take care with what you put in your backyard composter.

Things like meat, fish, bones, cooking oil, grease, and dairy products should never be left outside or put into a compost bin as this can attract wildlife to your backyard.

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit www.bearaware.bc.ca.