Castlegar’s WildsafeBC co-ordinator is asking city council not to abandon the idea of communal bearproof dumpsters, even though a pilot project this year ended early because they were being abused.
Lindsey Dewart told council this week that a change of location and a few other adjustments could make the dumpsters much more successful.
“My recommendation would be not to cancel this project altogether but to try it again with a few tweaks,” she said. “It’s important to note that they were really well used and they served as a good option for some residents who really struggle to store their garbage cart property.”
Bins were placed this year at the Pioneer Arena and at the public works yard, but council cancelled the program after they were habitually filled to the brim and material was left outside them. By the end, a once per week collection was increased to three times per week.
Dewart said one potential alternate location is the parking lot behind city hall and the police station. “Just being that close to the police station and city staff being able to monitor that during work hours, I think we’d see a vast improvement,” she said.
Dewart also suggested that fencing and video cameras would help reduce the problems that plagued the bins this year.
Another possible location is by the rec complex yard waste facility, where there are already security cameras and the civic works crew could keep an eye on it.
Although storage of residential garbage continues to attract bears, only two were destroyed in Castlegar this year. In May, Castlegar achieved Bear Smart status, a designation based on several criteria including a bear-human conflict plan and a continuing education program.