A video taken by a Nelson resident this week caught a bear making short work of a garbage container in Lakeside Park.
The City of Nelson’s public works director Colin Innes told the Nelson Star that the city is replacing open garbage containers with bear-proof bins, and doing this gradually over several years because one of the bear-proof units and its concrete pad cost about $1,800 plus labour.
Dave White of WildSafe BC told the Star that in 2016 he gave the city a prioritized list of the most bear-visited garbage containers in Nelson, and the city has slowly been replacing them. He said the highest priority at the time was Gyro Park, and the city installed bear-proof containers there as well as in Lakeside Park near the Rose Garden Cafe, and in a number of other areas around the city.
Innes said there have been 12 bear-proof bins installed around town, there are two more on order now, and the plan is to add a few each year until all bins are bear-proof.
Not all the open containers in Lakeside Park have yet been replaced, as can be seen in this video posted on Facebook by Amelia Rose, used here with her permission.
White said the city is doing a good job, but it is a work in progress
“The desired goal is the city having 100 per cent bear resistant bins. This would involve replacing all the units at Lakeside and the downtown core.”
He said the School District 8 and private properties such as the Chahko Mika Mall should invest in bear-proof units as well.
Placing these bear-resistant bins in public areas is a separate program from the one in which the city has purchased bear-proof bins for re-sale to residents.
The residential bins, White says, are constructed differently and have a more specialized opening and closing system than the easier-to-use public bins.