Wildlife awareness

The Central Okanagan is located in prime bear habitat. Bears are typically active from March to December and may be searching for non-natural food sources. While conflict encounters are uncommon, it is important to be alert and aware.

General tips

Garbage and recycling

  • Wait until the morning of collection day to put your bins at the curb, do not put them out the night before
  • Keep your containers in a secure location (such as a garage or shed)
  • If you do not have a garage, you can secure your containers to a structure so they can't be dragged away
  • Freeze smelly items until garbage pickup day
  • Rinse out all recycling material to eliminate food residue and odours
  • Wash your carts periodically with a bleach solution

Yard

  • Collect ripe fruit from trees and off the ground
  • Feed pets indoors and keep all food bowls inside
  • Clean your BBQ grill after each use
  • It's best to not use bird feeders during bear season (March to December)
  • Maintain an odourless compost pile by using lime (made from ground limestone), turning often, cutting food into small bits, layering greens with browns and never add meat, fish, fats, oils or grains. Always cover food with lawn clippings and browns

Overall, never approach or interact with bears.

Know when garbage is picked up

You might want to ask your garbage hauler for the general window of time they'll be at your location. This way you can place your bin or cart outside unlocked, and bring it back in after being emptied with limited time outside, which will reduce conflict with bears and other wildlife.

Tips for long driveways

  • Leave your carts as close as possible to their collection location (usually where your driveway meets the road) and deliver material to the carts on collection day. Contact your municipality to ensure that the location meets property line setback requirements. A shed may help with storage
  • There are special hitches available that can attach to your vehicle to help transport the carts to the road. If you would like more information, contact the Waste Reduction Office
  • It may be possible to move your scheduled pickup to a later time of day to make it more convenient to get your carts to the road