People need to take ownership and responsibility to ensure wildlife stays wild, and that especially includes securing their garbage.

People need to take ownership and responsibility to ensure wildlife stays wild, and that especially includes securing their garbage.

Critters and your organic cart

After what has seemed like the eternal winter, summer has finally arrived. With the sockeye entering our river systems, suddenly we are hearing and seeing an abundance of bears, cougars and other critters.

As the weather heats up, the odours emerging from the organics cart will be incredibly delightful and appealing for the critters.

People need to take ownership and responsibility to ensure wildlife stays wild. Here are some key things to keep in mind as we move into warmer weather and abundant curious wildlife.

Tips for Mitigating Wildlife Issues

  • Ensure your carts are not on the curb the night before your collection. Cart tagging has begun, and you may see the WildSafe Coordinator tagging carts around the Valley. The coordinator goes out the night before collection to place a yellow information sticker on any bins placed out prior to the 7 a.m. time outlined in the bylaw. For more information on WildSafeBC Bin Tagging program, please visit:

  • When possible, secure the carts inside a garage or a well-built shed. Even though the organics carts have locks on them, they are bear-resistant, not bear-proof. Given enough time and motivation, a food-conditioned bear can get to the contents inside.
  • If there’s no space for your carts inside and you have room in your freezer, try freezing the smelly items until the day of collection. Bears have a tremendous sense of smell and will be drawn into a community to investigate potential food sources.
  • If you’re not able to keep your cart inside, try securing it to something solid, or keep it secure with fencing so that it cannot be dragged away.
  • The City of Port Alberni has established a local bylaw that prohibits placing carts on the curb before 7 a.m. on the day of collection and is subject to a $150 fine.
  • Your recycling items may attract wildlife. Think of a tuna can and ensure that all recycling should be free of residue and rinsed prior to going into your blue cart.

How to contact WildSafe BC – Alberni Coordinator

In partnership with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD), the WildSafeBC program is ready to help keep our wildlife wild and our communities safe. You can reach the 2022 WildSafeBC Alberni Valley Community Coordinator at or 778-212-6532. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions about the program, including upcoming workshops on how to use bear spray and electric fencing or human-wildlife conflict.

For more information on WildSafeBC, visit To report a wildlife in conflict or the sighting of a bear, cougar, or wolf in an urban area, please call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Keep your eyes open for the ACRD waste reduction educator and the Alberni WildSafeBC coordinator as they will be hosting information booths at various community events throughout the summer. Hint: Look for the table with recycling items and animal skulls.

Stay in the Know with Sort’nGo!

Visit for more information about the Organics Collection Service and to ask questions. Questions about sorting and what day your collection is? Download the free Sort’nGo app from your mobile app store for Android and Apple phones. You can also check out the Facebook Page “Sort’nGo– ACRD Recycling & Organics” at which has weekly tips and updates for the valley. If you’re a community group or a local business, you can contact the ACRD to arrange for an educational presentation for how to best utilize this service.