Be Bear Aware and Safe – Secure Waste and Attractants

With reports of increased bear sightings, Port Coquitlam residents and businesses are reminded to lock up their waste and remove other attractants.

Residents and businesses can do their part and avoid a $500 fine by following the city’s garbage regulations:

  • LOCK IT UP – secure garbage and food scraps in either a wildlife-resistant enclosure (e.g. garage or shed) or by using the city’s wildlife-resistant cart lock or a lock certified by the BC Conservation Foundation.
  • SET IT OUT – cart set-out times are between 5:30-7:30 a.m. on collection day and re-secure your carts by 7 pm.

Properties without secure storage space for carts are required to use a city cart lock, or certified alternative, at all times except for the day of collection. Instructions for proper lock use are available at

Residents who have not yet received a lock or would like to request the additional third arm for added security can contact Public Works at or by phone at 604-927-5496

Earlier this year Council approved the City’s efforts to further manage wildlife by making free locks for all three sizes of carts available to residents who have not yet received them, undertaking a bear hazard assessment and increasing fines for not securing waste properly.

Along with the new measures, Port Coquitlam will continue its ongoing bear education campaign and work with the provincial Conservation Office to track bear activity and conduct proactive joint enforcement. The City also began year-round weekly organics pickup earlier than planned to reduce odours that can attract bears.

The success of the strategy will continue to rely heavily on residents and businesses following the bear regulations that have been in place since 2009.

The best protection against bears is to physically keep waste and other attractants out of reach:

  • Keep carts in the garage if possible.
  • Freeze meat and strong-smelling food scraps, and wait until collection day to put them into the green cart.
  • Feed pets indoors, clean barbecues after use and keep freezers indoors or locked up.
  • Don’t store strong-smelling garbage (diapers, grease barrels) or scented products (pop cans, toothpaste tubes, hairspray, mouthwash, etc.) outside.
  • Harvest fruit, berries and vegetables before or as they ripen, and clean up fallen fruit.
  • Remove bird feeders from April to November, or suspend them higher than 3.3 metres.
  • Block access to small animals (chickens, rabbits) and berry bushes.

The increased bear activity in neighbourhoods across the city is directly related to the availability of food. After bears find a meal once in a garbage cart or from a backyard fruit tree, they quickly learn to check all the homes on a street and teach their cubs to do the same.

These “garbage bears” lose their natural fear of humans and often become aggressive over time, forcing the Conservation Office to destroy or remove them. Relocating bears often doesn’t work as 50 per cent of relocated bears find their way back.

Residents who encounter a bear on local walking trails and in parks or on the streets or in backyards are advised to report the sightings to the Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-877-952-RAPP or at

For more information about being bear aware or the City’s garbage regulations, visit or call 604.927.5496. 



Pardeep Purewal
Manager of Communications & Admin Services
City of Port Coquitlam
Tel 604.927.5335 Cel 604.218.0533