Bears are driven by their stomach. An enormous amount of energy is stored in fat over the summer and fall months so that a bear can survive a winter without eating. Hibernating bears can lose as much as 25-30% of their body weight over the winter. As a result, bears become increasingly active in their search for food as summer wanes and fall approaches. Their keen sense of smell allows them to identify potential food sources from considerable distances.
When hungry bears come into town, they shouldn’t find attractive smells or food. We want them to continue on their way and not linger in our neighbourhoods. Becoming Bear Aware is not difficult. A small change in your behaviour and habits requires little effort but produces large benefits.
Bear-proofing your garbage
In Revelstoke, improperly stored garbage is the main attractant for bears. We can stop bears from becoming garbage-conditioned by storing garbage correctly. Here are some steps to bear-proofing your garbage.
- Follow Revelstoke’s Bylaw #2178, Section 8 (f – i) about days and time for putting your garbage outside for pickup. (Scroll down this page for details.)
- Use a heavy duty container with a secure lid. This not only deters bears, but also ravens, dogs, and other animals that may get into your garbage. Each household may have two garbage containers. The City of Revelstoke defines a standard container as:“Non-corrosive, durable receptacle, fitted with secure handles and a watertight cover filled to the rim only and no more than 77 litres (17 gallons) each in size…” Ask the Revelstoke Bear Aware Coordinator about buying a bear-proof garbage can. Call 250-837-8624 for information on sources and prices.
- Store your garbage in a secure location, and ensure it is odor-free. A secure location is not your carport or a flimsy shed that a bear could easily enter. A shed or garage with a door that closes securely, or the interior of your house is best. A simple way to reduce odors is to place any smelly food articles in a Ziploc bag and freeze it until garbage day. For information on bear resistant garbage storage options please visit Bear Aware – Bear Resistant Bins.
- Use our community recycling services as much as you can. Separating your paper, glass, plastic, tins, and cardboard from your “smelly” garbage will leave an average household with only a few bags per week – easy to toss into your freezer or keep in a tightly closed bag in your basement.
If your neighbours are doing a poor job of managing bear attractants and you are uncomfortable speaking to them about it, the Revelstoke Bear Aware Coordinator will speak to them for you. Call 250-837-8624.
Take another step toward bear-proofing our community: Ask the City of Revelstoke to move towards residential bear-proof garbage bins.
Revelstoke’s bylaw about garbage and recycling pickup
Revelstoke’s Bylaw #2178, Section 8 (f – i), states that containers shall be placed on the curbside for collection “no earlier than 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection;” and that residents shall “remove all Containers from curbside no later than midnight on the day of collection and shall store such Containers in a location not accessible by wildlife.”
Download the City Garbage and Recycling Pickup Schedule.