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Rossland still mulling purchase of extra bear-resistant bins

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It would cost the City of Rossland an extra $230,000 to provide all households with a bear-resistant garbage bin, council heard this week.

That would ensure all 1,621 single family units and 169 multi-family units are supplied with waste bins that keep bears out.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is expected to roll out a curbside composting program next year in Greater Trail that will see each household issued with a new bin. But of the more than 8,300 bins to be purchased, only 15 per cent are expected to be bear-resistant. A regular bin costs about $50, while a bear-resistant one is $200.

“The timing of the rollout of the organics [program] requires a decision on the type and number of containers that each community will be getting,” says acting mayor Andy Morel. “In the experience and wisdom of the individual communities, will they be happy with that mix or do they want to change it up?”

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Morel says in Rossland’s case, they are seeking Bear Smart status, so an increased number of bear-resistant bins would help support that designation, as reducing attractant is a high priority.

“A major investment in bear-resistant containers is a substantial hit on the taxpayer but may be the best solution in the long term,” he says.

A staff report presented to city council on Monday will be referred to the city’s Bear Smart committee, struck a few months ago to work with council and staff on ways to achieve the designation.

Rossland is also home to two communal bear-resistant bins provided by the Society for Natural Control Alternatives. However, earlier this year council declined to subsidize a third bin.

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