Q: Why is the Solid Waste Bylaw so strict?A: The City places a high priority on public and bear safety and these measures, introduced in 2009, are necessary to ensure both.
Bears lose their fear of humans if they know a readily available food source, such as garbage, is near. This is not normal bear behaviour – it is occurring now because the bears associate humans with food. Bears habituated to eating garbage can also become aggressive.
In order to protect our neighbourhoods and prevent bears from being killed, we need to ensure that bears do not become habituated to humans and human food.
Residents should note that the Solid Waste Bylaw regulations apply to all Port Coquitlam properties – commercial, industrial and residential.
Q: Do I have to buy a wildlife resistant lock for my bins?A: You have options! If you have a garage or secure locked shed, you may keep your waste collection carts inside until the morning of pickup and set them out between 5:30 am and 7:30 am. A wildlife resistant lock is not necessary if you are keeping your carts inside.
If you do not have a garage or shed, and you receive City collection services, you will need a wildlife-resistant locking device installed on your carts.
Q: Do our green and garbage carts have to be secured even if we do not put out our green waste until the morning of pickup? We keep all food garbage in the house until that time.A: Yes. The Solid Waste Bylaw requires garbage and green carts to be secured at all times other than the permitted hours on the day of pickup.
Q: We have never had any problems with wildlife getting into our carts, because there is nothing in them to attract wildlife. Buying a locking device is a totally unnecessary expense.
A: Garbage and green carts retain odours from their previous contents and will attract wildlife even when they appear to be empty. Bears have sensitive noses and can detect a garbage or green cart from as far as nine miles away. Bears have also been known to eat grass clippings, especially when they are hungry, so your green cart may attract bears even if you don’t put food in it.
Q: Why are we not allowed to store our carts in the front yard? That’s where we’ve always kept them.
A: The Solid Waste Bylaw requires carts to be stored in a building, or in the side or rear yard. When bears are first scouting an area, they tend to go down the middle of the street and if the carts are visible, they will come to investigate them.
Q: I live in a multi-family complex and don’t receive collection services from the City. What should I do to make my waste container bear resistant?A: If you receive private collection services and do not have either a garage or a secured waste storage area, have your strata council or private collection company contact the BC Conservation Foundation to determine the best solution for your multi-family complex.
Q: If I have a wildlife resistant locking device, can I leave my cart on the street at night?A: A City cart with a wildlife resistant lock can be kept outside of your home on your property, but ALL carts must be kept off the street at night. Even if they are locked, carts on the street at night are a bear attractant. To ensure bears do not have easy access to garbage, we need to keep carts off the streets.
Q: I know that residents in other municipalities were given bear resistant containers for ‘free’. Why not us?It’s important to consider a few factors:
- City-supplied services or products are not ‘free’ – they are funded by the property taxes collected by the municipality. Ultimately, the property owner pays through their property taxes.
- By providing property owners and residents with other storage options, such as securing bins in a garage, Port Coquitlam has made it possible for many residents to comply with the bylaw at no additional cost.
Q: Why didn’t Port Coquitlam get bear-resistant carts when the automated collection system began?A: When the automated system was put in place in 2002, bear activity was not reported at a level of concern. Given the spike in bear activity in our neighbourhoods, the City needs to take the measures necessary to protect residents from dangerous bear conflicts.
Q: My work schedule or personal circumstances make it difficult for me put my cart out between 5:30 am and 7:30 am. Will I be ticketed for having my cart out the night before pickup?The City has solid waste collection regulations in place to ensure the safety of our citizens as well as protect the bears that live in our community. It is important that everyone adhere to the regulations to keep our community safe. We encourage you to carefully consider other options:
- Is there anyone else within your home who could put the carts curbside on the morning of collection?
- Is there a neighbour who could assist you?
- Bear Sightings - Conservation Officer Service - 1.877.952.7277 (RAPP)
- City Waste Collection Services - 604.927.5488 or 604.927.5496
- Solid Waste Infractions / Fines - Bylaw Enforcement - 604.927.5440 or firstname.lastname@example.org