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HomeNewsNorthern Bear Awareness Society wants city to implement bear-resistant garbage bins again

Northern Bear Awareness Society wants city to implement bear-resistant garbage bins again

It seems as though one PG organization has had enough with the large volume of bear sightings in the city.

A petition with nearly 600 signatures is calling on the City of Prince George to supply bear-resistant garbage bins to residents.

It was started by the Northern Bear Awareness Society, an organization that works to reduce conflict between bears and people.

“We see many residents doing the best they can to minimize attractants on their properties, but it is not enough,” the NBAS said.

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According to the organization, residential waste is the top attractant for bears in Prince George, and once a bear has access to garbage the chances increase that it will be deemed a threat to public safety.

In 2019, the City of Prince George ran a bear-resistant pilot project — 300 bear-resistant garbage cans were provided to homes in neighborhoods with higher rates of bear interactions.

Results of the pilot project indicated that the locking mechanism on the garbage cans was unreliable during Prince George’s winter.

In an updated release from the City, they took away some bear-resistant garbage cans but not all of them. Residents in the pilot area had the option to keep their bear-resistant can when the project ended.

Residents were notified by letter in October of 2022 about the project ending and were asked to tell the City if they would like to keep the bear-resistant can. Those that did not respond by the deadline of December 31st of last year had their garbage cans replaced.

Of the 300 carts in the field, 22 had the special latch completely replaced, a failure rate of approximately eight per cent according to civic officials.

The City noted although it hopes to achieve provincial Bear Smart Status, replacing all of Prince George’s 25 thousand automated garbage cans with bear-resistant cans would cost at least $7 million, the equivalent of a 5.8% tax increase.

NBAS believes it’s crucial that City Council “commit to a more proactive strategy by establishing a budget for Bear Smart practices, including supplying bear-resistant garbage bins to residents”

A link to the petition can be found here.

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