Bear Smart Curbside Collection

For CVRD electoral area residents only. All other residents should contact their city, town or municipality for more information. The CVRD amended Curbside Collection Bylaw 1958 in 2019 to help reduce human/wildlife conflicts in the Cowichan Valley. Our primary goal is to reduce conflicts that stem from hungry bears accessing residential garbage. While it may be exciting to have a bear wander into the yard, when they are there to rummage through garbage bins and devour the apples off your apple tree, it can become a dangerous situation for children, pets, livestock and, ultimately, the bear. Often it’s the bear that ends up paying the price for garbage left out. Bears that become accustomed to accessing human food sources may pose a safety risk to our friends and neighbours and may need to be destroyed. 

A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear

Do your part by ensuring that your curbside collection material does not become a wildlife attractant: 

1.    Store waste in a wildlife-resistant manner on your property between collection days.

2. Put totes out after 5:00am on your curbside collection day (totes left out overnight are subject to a $230 fine)

Tips for wildlife-resistant waste storage:

•    Store recycling and garbage in totes, place the totes in an enclosed structure like a secure garage or shed until the morning of your curbside collection day.

•    If a secure enclosure to store your totes in is unavailable, leave clean totes outside and store curbside material in a secure enclosure. For example, keep smelly garbage items in the freezer and store recyclables in your house. Clean recyclables are generally okay to store outside. On the morning of your curbside collection day, transfer the material to the tote(s).

• Order a bear resistant tote. Bear resistant curbside totes can be ordered from the CVRD for $60 per tote. Please note that a bear resistant tote will not be 100% bear proof. Secure totes to a structure so a bear cannot drag it away. If a bear is allowed uninterrupted time (e.g. by dragging the tote into the bush), it will likely be able to break into the tote. Fill out and submit this form to order.

Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention - Notify Conservation Officers About Issues 

Use the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) telephone line 1-877-952-7277 at any time to notify conservation officers about wildlife attractants or dangerous wildlife in urban areas. The information you provide will be used to target educational efforts in the reported areas. The goal is to help make communities wildsafe.  

Example of Common Bear Attractants

Below are example of common bear attractants. Make sure to manage these items in a manner that prevents bears from accessing them:

  • Garbage, recycling and compost material
  • Pet food 
  • Ripe tree fruit
  • Bird feeders 
  • Dirty barbeques 
  • Outdoor fridges and freezers 
  • Bee hives and backyard chickens 

Help Communities and Wildlife by Learning More

 Help reduce human/wildlife conflicts by visiting www.bearsmart.com and/or wildsafebc.com.