The North Shore is home to many black bears. They are amazing creatures and seeing one is a privilege. However, bears that become accustom to humans as a source of food need to be destroyed, making managing your animal attractants a matter of life and death for the bear.
Our bylaws require that wildlife attractants be managed responsibly in order to minimize human/bear interactions, and avoid destroying bears. The Bylaws Department works closely with the North Shore Black Bear Society to educate residents about attractants and to enforce bylaws.
Bears and Garbage
Garbage is the cause of 80 per cent of interactions between humans and bears on the North Shore. Collection rules, such as set-out times, are included in our bylaw to deter animals and reduce wildlife attractants—please follow them.
- keep garbage and Green Can in your garage, basement or wildlife-secure location during the week
- set materials out after 5 a.m. on collection day, not the night before
- bring materials in by 9 p.m. and store containers in a wildlife-secure place
Other bear attractants
Here are other items that may attract bears to your home, and how to manage them:
- remove bird feeders or make them inaccessible to bears
- pick ripe berries and fruit as they ripen; pick up fallen fruit regularly
- feed pets inside your home
- keep your barbecue clean and grease-free and do not leave food unattended
- remove outdoor freezers
- compost effectively using an equal proportion of ‘brown’ (yard trimmings) with ‘green’ (vegetable and fruit scraps). Be sure to keep a layer of dry ‘browns’ on top, and aerate to accelerate material breakdown.
- put away all petroleum products, including rubber, tarpaper, paint, turpentine, kerosene and charcoal fluid—these products attract bears
Learn more about managing bear attractants in your home:
Almost all human/bear interactions end without incident. If given space, bears will almost always avoid interactions with humans.
If you do encounter a bear:
- stay calm
- speak in a firm, clear voice—your voice helps to identify you as a human (and less of a threat)
- keep well away—slowly back away from the bear. If you can, take children and pets indoors or into a vehicle
- make noise—from a safe location, make plenty of noise to make the bear aware of your presence
- remove the attractant - if a bear has found food, be sure to remove the attractant once the bear has left the area
Did you see a bear?
For more information about how to manage bear attractants, including where to get bear-resistant storage bins, visit:
Here are some tips to reduce odours in your solid waste that may attract wildlife:
- consider freezing meat, fish, bones and plate scrapings before placing them in your Green Can on the morning of collection
- wash or rinse jars and cans before recycling
- rinse any food residue off meat trays before placing them in your garbage and consider freezing them
Check out this video with tips on how to compost in bear country.