Waste Cart Locks

To protect against rising bear activity, the City designed and manufactured a wildlife-resistant cart lock for 240L and 360L garbage and green carts. The locks, which received an honourable mention in the Union of BC Municipalities awards in 2015, were distributed to Port Coquitlam households receiving City waste services in bear-prone areas in 2015.

Watch the video above to learn how you can properly secure your cart using the City’s waste cart locks.

The City will continue to work one-on-one with residents in areas of high bear activity to educate them on storage and locking options and the City bylaw requirement to secure waste and other bear attractants.

As a last resort, fines of up to $150 per instance may be issued. Learn more about the bylaw requirements.

Who received the locks?

North of Lougheed Highway:

  • All homes receiving City waste services that do not have a Critter Guard lock.
  • About 6,500 homes in total.


South of Lougheed Highway:

  • Homes west of Shaughnessy Street that receive City waste services and do not have a Critter Guard lock (see map).
  • About 1,000 homes in total.
Please contact our Public Works Centre at 604-927-5496 or by email at publicworks@portcoquitlam.ca to request a lock.

Homes with Critter Guard locks

Properties that purchased Critter Guards were reimbursed $75 per lock on their 2015 tax bill. If their existing lock is damaged, they can request a City lock by contacting Public Works at 604.927.5496.

Project Background

Although the City has been encouraging property owners to lock up their waste for a number of years to deter bears, bear activity has continued to grow. Bears are now regularly seen in both the north and south sides of the community.

We felt it was time to take a more proactive approach to make sure that carts in areas with bear activity were locked for resident and bear safety. Developing our own lock was the most cost-effective solution, and it also has the potential to generate revenue from sales to other communities.

The lock project is expected to improve compliance with the Solid Waste Bylaw and make Port Coquitlam neighbourhoods less attractive to hungry bears by preventing them from getting an easy meal from garbage and green waste carts.

Development of the lock

A team of City staff began developing the device in 2013. The lock for the 240 L cart has been certified by the BC Wildlife Conservation Foundation.

The City continues to work to obtain certification for a 120L cart lock. Until a solution is found, residents in areas with bear activity are advised to secure their 120L green and garbage carts in a wildlife-resistant shelter, such as a garage.

Project funding

The total cost of the project is approximately $779,000. The City’s waste cart reserve fund is paying for the development, manufacturing and distribution of the locks, and to reimburse residents who had previously purchased cart locks.

The project funds were available because the carts have been lasting longer than anticipated, and the $1.7 million balance in the reserve will, along with future allocated transfers, be adequate to cover the replacement of the current carts when they reach their lifespan.


Properties that purchased Critter Guard locks received a $75 credit per lock on their 2015 City property tax bill, based on Critter Guard’s client records.

Only property owners that purchased a Critter Guard lock will be reimbursed, because until the City developed its own lock, they were the only lock that met the Solid Waste Bylaw requirement to be certified by the BC Conservation Foundation.


Public Works
Tel 604.927.5496
Email publicworks@portcoquitlam.ca