Bear Smart Curbside Collection

2019 Lake Cowichan Bear w. Bin

For CVRD electoral area residents only. All other addresses should contact their city, town or municipality for more information. The CVRD amended curbside collection bylaw 1958, in 2019 to help reduce human wildlife conflicts in the Cowichan Valley. Our primary goal is to reduce conflicts that stem from hungry bears accessing residential garbage. While it may be exciting to have a bear wander into the yard, when they are there to rummage through garbage bins and empty the apple tree it can become a dangerous situation for nearby children, pets, livestock and ultimately the bear. Often, it’s the bear that ends up paying the price for garbage left out. Bears that become accustomed to accessing human food sources may pose a safety risk to our friends and neighbours. Do your part by ensuring that your curbside collection material does not become a wildlife attractant: 

1. Store waste in a wildlife-resistant manner on your property between collection days.

2. Don’t put out the totes before 5:00 a.m. on your curbside collection day (subject to $100 fine)

Tips for wildlife-resistant waste storage:

• Store recycling and garbage in totes, place the totes in an enclosed structure like a secure garage or shed until the morning of your curbside collection day.

• If a secure enclosure in which to store the totes is unavailable, leave clean totes outside and store curbside material in a secure enclosure. For example, keep smelly garbage items in the freezer and store recyclables in your house. Clean recyclables are generally okay to store outside. On the morning of your curbside collection day, transfer the material to the tote(s).

• Order bear resistant hardware. Bear-resistant hardware kits for curbside totes can be ordered from the CVRD for a $60 per tote installation fee. Note that the totes won’t be 100% bear proof. Secure tote to a structure so a bear cannot drag it away. If a bear is allowed uninterrupted time (e.g. by dragging the tote into the bush), it will likely be able to break into the tote. Fill out and submit this form to order.

Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention - Notify Conservation Officers About Issues 

Use the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) telephone line 1-877-952-7277 at any time to notify conservation officers about wildlife attractants or dangerous wildlife in urban areas. The information you provide will be used to target educational efforts in the reported areas. The goal is to help make communities wildsafe.  

Example of Common Bear Attractants

Below are example of common bear attractants. Make sure to manage these in a manner that prevent bears from accessing them:

  • Garbage, recycling and compost 
  • Pet food 
  • Ripe fruit trees 
  • Bird feeders 
  • Dirty BBQ’s 
  • Outdoor fridges and freezers 
  • Bee hives and backyard chickens 

Help Communities and Wildlife by Learning More

 Help reduce human-wildlife conflicts by visiting and/or