Council tightens waste bylaw language

A report was made to clarify language in regards to the Waste Regulation Bylaw.

At the Sept. 12 Fernie City Council meeting, interim CAO Don Schaffer presented a report regarding changes to the Municipal Ticket Information Bylaw. The intent of the report was to clarify language in regards to the Waste Regulation Bylaw.

“It is important to make these changes to add weight to the City’s enforcement authority given that bear season is beginning,” read the staff report. The aim of the amendment is to make it clear that garbage is not allowed to be put out for collection before 5 a.m. on collection days. This is to help curb the number of bears and wildlife drawn into city limits in search of garbage or other food sources.

“We are not trying to ticket people willy nilly. What we are trying to do is get people to realize that improperly put out garbage is a hazard to themselves and their neighbours and to the wild animals that come into take advantage of that food source,” Schaffer told The Free Press.

The City will now give one warning for putting garbage out early or for inadequate containers. The next infraction will be cause for a $50 fine. Each subsequent infraction will result in a $100 fine.

“As I say, in an effort to get compliance and raise awareness, we would much rather give people one warning and then never have to worry about it again,” said Schaffer.

The bylaw amendment was read for a third time and approved at the Special Council meeting on Sept. 20.