Bear Aware: Curbside garbage collection

Last week there were 26 garbage bins left out the night before garbage collection in Invermere.

Sightings in and around our communities: a black bear sow and three cubs have been sighted on Eagle Ranch Golf Course the last few weeks; a black bear was sighted on Lakeview Road; a black bear was sighted on Lanac Road.

Last week there were 26 garbage bins left out the night before garbage collection in Invermere. Unfortunately, this has increased since May.This is most likely due to an increase of residents in town. Placing your garbage outside the day before collection may be convenient for some but this is a very dangerous practice. Bears have a great sense of smell — they smell seven times better than a bloodhound — and if they happen to walk near or through town and smell garbage on the street, that garbage becomes an easy food source. If a bear becomes accustomed to getting food from our community at night, it will possibly become bold enough to feed on garbage during the day. Please remember, just because you may not have seen a bear doesn’t mean bears aren’t around. If we keep our community free of garbage, bears may come into town but they won’t stay for long. Bungee cords or any strap used to secure the garbage bin lid won’t stop a bear from getting into your garbage.

Up to 600 bears a year are destroyed in B.C. because they become a safety risk to us or destroy property. It may take only a single meal of garbage, fruit or bird feed for a bear to become conditioned to human food. Relocating bears isn’t the best option because most of the time the bear will either come back or start foraging for garbage in another community.

Westside Park did a great job last week with no garbage bins on the curbside the night before collection. To all of you who don’t put your garbage bins out until the day of collection: great job and keep it up!

Here are some tips to follow: keep garbage in your basement, garage or in a shed at all times until after 8 a.m. the day of collection. If you have really smelly waste such as fish, freeze it until the day of garbage collection; if you’re not able to put it out that morning, ask a neighbour for assistance; take it to the Windermere Landfill located at 1875 Windermere Loop Road any day of the week — it’s free!

To report a bear sighting or incident call the RAPP line at: 1-877-952-7277. For more information, email or, call 250-688-0561 or visit And volunteers are needed for an evening of garbage tagging!