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Keep garbage secure, says PoMo resident
A Port Moody resident is urging her neighbours to keep their garbage indoors after a family of bears ransacked the neighbourhood in search of food last week.
Susan Zanders took photos of garbage strewn about a sidewalk and plastic bags torn apart with styrofoam meat trays, food waste and boxes spilling out and sent them to The News.
"He got a great scoop on the neighbour's garbage," said Zanders, an April Road resident.
She believes PoMo's garbage bylaw is too lax because carts don't have to be locked in a garage or shed, just secure so they can't be carried away by bears.
"The bears can still smell the food," said Zanders
Some people are even defying the city's garbage set out times bylaw (5:30 to 7:30 a.m.), which is a fineable offense that could cost a homeowner $150.
Zanders is concerned that more bears will be lured into the area if people don't take care of their garbage, yard-waste and recyclables. If the bears become garbage-habituated and a potential public danger, they could be shot.
PoMo's environmental technologist, Rick Saunier, said the city has no plans to change its bylaws but agreed that people should keep their garbage indoors if they can. The problem is, many of the older homes in the area don't have enclosed garages, but people can tether their garbage and waste carts to keep bears from getting at the items inside, Saunier said.
"It's a good suggestion," Saunier said.
However, people should know by now not to put their garbage out before the mandated set-out times and Saunier said four homeowners will be getting $150 fines.
Bears are now observable in every part of the city, he said, but he doesn't think the bear problem is any worse than in previous years.
"It's still early to tell, we're only half way through July," Saunier said.
Bear sightings tend to rise in the late summer and early fall when bears are in hot pursuit of high-calorie food to fatten themselves up before the winter hibernation.
In addition to securing garbage, Tri-City residents are encouraged to remove ripe fruit immediately and eliminate all bear attractants, such as pet food, greasy barbecue grills, and bird seed.