Bears are drawn to the smell of food, so securely store your garbage until the morning of collection day.
If possible, keep it indoors in a garage or garden shed, and remove all ripe fruit, bird seed, dirty barbecue grills and anything else that might attract bears.
Tri-City municipalities have bylaws restricting garbage set out times between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. on collection day.
Make sure your food scraps go in your green can because it is picked up first; doing so will result in fewer bears knocking over garbage cans to get at food waste. Bear-resistant bins are available at city hall for $140 plus taxes. It is a resident's responsibility to keep garbage away from bears; failing to do so may result in a $500 fine.
Animal-resistant waste bins that have been given to homeowners can still be pried open by bears. It is a resident's responsibility to lock up these bins so they are not accessible to bears; failing to do so may result in a $150 fine.
Critter Guard locking systems to keep bears out of trash bins are available at city hall for $75. It is up to residents to rid their yard of bear attractants, including garbage, failing to do so could result in a $150 fine.
Garbage bylaws will soon be updated; until that's done, residents are requested not to put garbage in plastic bags which can be picked apart by animals including bears.
For up-to-date information on managing bear attractants, visit www.bearaware.bc.ca.
To make a complaint about a problem bear, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).