Bear Regulations - Frequently Asked Questions
City staff are here to help you find solutions to protect you, your neighbourhood and bears. If the information you need is not included below, please contact the appropriate department or agency listed below for further assistance.
Q:  Why are the Solid Waste Bylaw bear regulations needed?
A:  The City places a high priority on public and bear safety, and the bylaw is necessary to ensure both.

Bears lose their fear of humans if they know a readily available food source, such as garbage or green waste, 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 and may need to be killed.

Residents should note that the Solid Waste Bylaw regulations apply to all Port Coquitlam properties – commercial, industrial and residential – regardless of whether they receive City waste pickup. Read more about where and how the bylaw is enforced.
Q:  Do I have to use a wildlife-resistant lock on my garbage and green carts?
A: You have options! If you have a garage or secure locked shed, you may keep your waste  carts inside until the morning of your collection day 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, you will need to use a wildlife-resistant lock on your carts. Click to learn about the City waste cart locks provided at no cost.
Q: Do our green and garbage carts have to be secured even if we do not put any green waste into them until collection day, or if we have never had a problem with wildlife getting into our carts?
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.

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:  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 wildlife-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 use a wildlife-resistant lock, 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: 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 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:
Carts are not allowed on the street prior to 5:30 am on collection day.

The City’s enforcement approach is to work one-on-one with residents in areas of high bear activity to educate them about how to comply with the bylaw. Fines are only issued as a last resort.


Last Updated:5/11/2015 2:59:50 PM