Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Bear-Resistant Bin Pilot Project


When curbside garbage collection was initiated several years ago, the carts selected were not designated as “bear-resistant.” This decision was made in part due to the prohibitive cost of the resistant bins, and in part due to technical issues arising from using any form of secured bin with an automated bin-dumping system.

A relatively small number of properties do not have a secure place, such as a shed or garage, to store a garbage cart, or have been identified based on other bear hazard criteria. During the warmer months when wildlife are particularly active, this has been an ongoing concern.

Through the combined efforts of the Conservation Officer Service, WildSafe BC and the NRRM, approximately 65 properties have been identified to take part in a pilot project.

  • Residents will be notified if they are eligible for the Bear-Resistant Bin Pilot Project, and if they would like to participate, their existing cart will be replaced with a bear resistant garbage cart at no cost.
  • The bear-resistant carts are designed with a simple locking mechanism that is easily operated with thumb latches, and will be identified with the label pictured below.
  • The cart will need to be locked at all times except when it is placed at the curb on collection day, when the cart must be unlocked to allow for pickup by the automated arm on the garbage truck.

This is one of the initial steps being taken to establish Fort Nelson as a designated Bear Smart Community by reducing the potential for conflict between wildlife and people through the reduction of animal attractants.

Beginning in late March 2021, letters will be mailed to pre-selected residents. Based on responses, Bear-Resistant Bins will be provided to replace existing carts and the curbside collection contractor will be advised of their locations.

At the end of the (bear) season, the effectiveness of the bins will be assessed. This will include having a bin tested by WildSafe BC in real world conditions, which they have past experience with.

  • If the bear-resistant bins are effective, they will be offered to interested residents in 2022. At this point, it has not been determined if there will be a fee charged for the bear-resistant bins.
  • If the bear-resistant bins are not effective, they will be recalled from service and replaced.

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