The transfer station in the Invermere Industrial Park reopens Thursday (November 1) after being closed for nearly a month and a half due to improper garbage handling and increased bear sightings as a result.
Now with the valley shifting into winter, the threat of bears is diminishing with every passing day and community bear aware co-ordinator Crystal Leonard says the timing for reopening the transfer station is pretty good.
“Definitely now it’s not bad timing; there’s a slight chance a bear could come upon it, but there hasn’t really been any sightings, so it’s unlikely,” she said.
Although there have been bear sightings reported in Windermere and Fairmont Hot Springs, Leonard said there have not been any in Invermere in nearly three weeks. The transfer station was initially closed due to a number of bears in the area and, with the station not being very bear-resistant, Invermere council came to a decision to close it at a meeting on September 11. Since that time, district staff have been asked to craft a new illegal dumping bylaw, and district Chief Administrative Officer Chris Prosser would like to remind the public about proper usage of the facility.
“It’s meant for domestic refuse and household garbage, not for construction waste or yard waste,” he said.
A full list of acceptable items is posted within the transfer station. Prosser said during the period the station was closed, he had numerous reports of improper dumping all around Invermere, including Kinsmen Beach, behind the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, and in the backcountry. The district is in the process of making the transfer station more bear-resistant so the problem doesn’t happen again next summer.