Nelson city council is considering replacing this unsecured garbage can at the top of Stanley Street to make it bearproof.

Four grand for four cans

City mulls options for bear-proofing garbage receptacles.

WildSafe BC’s provincial coordinator visited city council on June 23 to propose spending approximately $4,000 to bear-proof four key garbage receptacles in Nelson.

“We’re on track to setting a record in the past five years for the most bears being reported,” said Frank Ritcey. “It’s an issue, and it needs to be addressed.”

He said the bottom line is that the more bear-resistant cans they can install, the fewer bears will have to be destroyed. Last year they euthanized approximately 350 province-wide, down from over a thousand in 1999. He said in general bear conflicts have gone down in recent years but in the first few months of 2014 they’ve noticed a spike.

He said putting down bears reflects poorly on the city, and the only way to avoid bear conflicts is to practice attractant management.

“Residents and tourists alike see that as a negative thing,” he said.

He said WildSafe BC would be happy to help Nelson promote this “good news story”, if they decide to go ahead with the new cans. He noted that many communities in the area, including Kaslo, New Denver and Castlegar, have already installed them. Nelson is one of the last communities in the West Kootenay to follow suit, though there are some within the city limits that are built on private property.

Ritcey said this is an opportunity for Nelson to lead by example, in an admittedly minor way. Three of the four cans being discussed are at Lakeside Park, while the fourth is located at the top of Stanley Street.

The can at the top of Stanley Street is unsecured and is visited routinely by a variety of wildlife. It is warped and misshapen, and does not have a lid.  Coun. Candace Batycki said the can has been an acknowledged problem for years, but nobody has dealt with it. She called it “embarrassing”.

Council briefly considered going ahead with that one separately, as it’s the most problematic, but eventually dismissed the idea. The Lakeside cans are less likely to attract wildlife, but will be more visible to residents and will demonstrate Nelson’s commitment to protecting the wildlife, said Ritcey.

Ritcey brought along conservation officer Jason Hawkes, who spoke about the recent wildlife run-ins that have been happening in town. He reaffirmed the need for the bear-proof garbage cans, and said it would help to convince residents in the area to follow suit.

Coun. Donna Macdonald questioned how Nelson could be considered to be “leading by example” when the average homeowners are unable to spend thousands of dollars on the bear-proofing. She asked whether there were cheaper alternatives.

“There’s new technology coming out all the time,” said Ritcey.

He acknowledged the costs is prohibitively high for the average resident, but nonetheless thinks the city should pull the trigger on this purchase.

Ritcey said ultimately this issue is about protecting our animal neighbours. “It’s our responsibility to the wildlife,” he said.

Council asked staff to bring a solution to the next regular meeting.

The presentation, which included statistics and information about bears, is available online at


Just Posted

Nelson Leafs, regional district plan full-time hazardous waste recycling depot

City requires flood-mitigation plan before one-year trial can begin

Nelson Leafs humble Rockies 9-2

Leafs score 7 unanswered goals en route to win

Nelson Leafs fall in Kimberley 4-1

The Dynamiters took a 2-0 lead en route to the win

Nelson Legion to sell its building to tech company

Traction on Demand will purchase the building while the Legion will lease space

Climbing group launches fundraiser for Castlegar cliffs

TAWKROC wants to raise $60,000 to purchase the property from the owners

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

#hotscoops #hotscoops #hotscoops

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read