On Sept. 12, a handful of new bear resistant garbage bins arrived in Fernie. They will be distributed to four different public locations around town, allowing people to dispose of their garbage between collection days.
“These are at convenient locations around town so that no matter where you live in town, there is reasonable and easy access to dispose of garbage 24/7,” said Wildsafe BC’s Kathy Murray, who has been an advocate for bear resistant bins for some time.
The bins will be located behind City Hall, at Max Turyk gym, at the Fernie Memorial Arena, as well as at the Aquatic Centre. Murray is hoping having access to bear resistant bins will enable people to make responsible choices.
“Having bear resistant dumpsters available to the public 24/7 for people who miss garbage days, who take off on vacation, who are second homeowners, visitors and especially someone who doesn’t have a garage or shed to keep garbage between collection days is important,” she said. “Instead of having it accumulate in the backyard, attracting wildlife, they have an option, a convenient option.”
Murray reminds people the transfer station is still a great option to get rid of garbage, especially bigger items.
“It is only as bear resistant as the user so we are asking people to take household garbage only, place it in, make sure it is closed and latched. If the dumpster is full, go to an alternate location,” she said. Please don’t litter in the area because that is going to cause problems with wildlife. Larger items, such as mattresses and computers have to be taken to the appropriate facility.”
One of the positive aspects of the bins, according to Murray, is that the City is seen as leading by example to help ease bear-human conflicts.
“If the City is seen to be leading by example by removing barriers and enabling the disposal of garbage to be easy, businesses and residents and second homeowners are more likely to make responsible choices. It’s all about leading by example.”
Murray says that 69 per cent of the calls to the Conservation Service office are about bears getting into garbage within communities. She is hoping the bear resistant bins will decrease the opportunities for bear-human conflicts within Fernie.