Solid Waste Bylaw – Bears
Port Coquitlam’s Solid Waste Bylaw requires residents and businesses to secure garbage, green waste and other items that attract bears and other wildlife (e.g. coyotes, cougars and raccoons). The bylaw applies to all properties, regardless of whether they receive City waste collection.
Protecting Residents and Bears
Bears that find an easy meal from a waste cart, dog food dish or backyard fruit tree will return to these sources again and again, and teach their cubs to do the same. Bears can also become aggressive in their search for food, and may have to be killed.
Understanding the Rules
There are two main rules to follow:
- Lock it up: Secure garbage, green waste and other wildlife attractants in EITHER a wildlife-resistant enclosure (e.g. garage, shed) OR with a wildlife-resistant cart lock certified by the BC Conservation Foundation (such as Critter Guard or the City’s cart locks).
- Set it out: Only set out your unlocked garbage and green carts on collection day between 5:30 and 7:30 am, and re-secure carts by 7 pm on collection day.
The bylaw also requires you to:
- Remove fallen fruit and pick fruit or berries upon ripening.
- Keep beehives, bird feeders and petroleum products (i.e. grease and motor oil) out of reach of wildlife.
- Lock or keep outdoor refrigerators or freezers out of reach of wildlife.
- Not put wildlife attractants into compost piles (composters are exempt).
What is a wildlife attractant?
- food scraps
- beverage containers
- barbecue grills
- compost piles (composters are exempt)
- fallen/ripe fruit and berries
- pet food
- bird feed
- grease barrels
- petroleum products
- chemical products
- grass clippings
The Solid Waste Bylaw requires ALL residents and businesses to secure wildlife attractants at all times. Enforcement is directed at areas of high bear activity, including but not limited to:
- all areas north of Lougheed Highway
- areas south of Lougheed Highway and west of Shaughnessy Street
The City’s bylaw enforcement officers and program ambassadors are monitoring these areas for compliance with the bylaw. Residents and businesses may be fined $500 per instance if they don’t follow the bylaw. It is your responsibility to not attract wildlife.
Do green and garbage carts have to be secured even when empty, or if we have never had a problem with wildlife?
The Solid Waste Bylaw requires garbage and green carts to be secured at all times, other than 5:30-7:30 am on collection day. Enforcement is focused on areas of high bear activity – primarily north of Lougheed Highway, and south of Lougheed Highway west of Shaughnessy Street.
Even carts that are empty or only have yard trimmings can attract bears. Carts retain odours from previous contents, and bears can smell a garbage or green cart from up to nine miles away. Bears have also been known to eat grass clippings when hungry.
We live in a multi-family complex with private garbage service. Does the bylaw apply to us?
The bylaw applies to all properties in the City. If you are in an area of high bear activity and do not have 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 complex.
It’s difficult for me to 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?
It is important that everyone follows the bylaw to keep our neighbourhoods safe. The City works one-on-one with residents in areas of high bear activity to help them comply with the bylaw, but will issue fines of $150 per occurrence as a last resort.
Consider options such as having someone else in your home put the carts out, or making arrangements with a neighbour.
If you are physically unable to move your carts, you may apply for the City’s set-out/set-back service. Contact Public Works at 604.927.5496 for information.
Reporting Bear Sightings:
BC Conservation Officer Service