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South Okanagan

Residents become bear aware

There are some new rules for Naramata residents when it comes to garbage collection.

Anyone who lives in Okanagan Falls, Kaleden and West Bench and receives curbside collection must take extra precautions if they place garbage outside the night before pick-up.

Homeowners will have three different options to choose from; they can either place their waste outside on the morning of collection, use a wildlife resistant garbage cart or place a wildlife resistant enclosure at the end of their driveway.

“There is a well-established correlation between bear sightings and garbage days,” says Zoe Kirk, Bear Aware Community Coordinator.

“Bears need an enormous amount of calories each day. Unprotected garbage is a quick and easy way for bears to get food.”

Over the past year, Kirk has made a series of nighttime tours of the areas and finds on average, 80 per cent of residents take their garbage out on the day of collection. The remaining residents place their bags or cans out at night, allowing bears and other animals to access the garbage.

Last year, Naramata became the first RDOS community to adopt wildlife safe garbage collection.

Prior to 2011, an average of six bears per year were killed in Naramata compared to only one bear destroyed since the measures were adopted.

This winter, BFI Canada is offering a two month free trial on wildlife resistant bear carts for residents in Electoral Area “D” and “F”. Anyone interested can call 250-328-2778 for more details.



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