Keep Bears Wild

Bear Proofing


 Photo: @dylanmontheith 

During bear season, bears will venture into residential areas in search of food. The best way to bear proof our backyards is prevention - if bears do not find food, they will move on.

Remember that bears are very inquisitive and have a strong sense of smell.

More than 1000 bears are killed every year in BC because of human-bear conflicts at a cost of over 1 million dollars. Most of these bears are attracted to residential areas by improperly stored garbage and other attractants.

Bear Season

Bear season refers to the time of year when bears are not hibernating, usually April to November on the North Shore. Low temperatures and snow cause them to seek shelter. However, bears only hibernate when their food supply runs out. Once in a while, a few bears may not hibernate and some neighbourhoods will need to remain bear-proof year round.

Managing Bear Attractants



  • Put your garbage at curbside on the morning of pick-up only.
  • Store your garbage bins in the house, in a garage or in a bear-resistant container.
  • Clean your garbage bins on a regular basis with a bleach, ammonia or vinegar solution.
  • Freeze the skin, bones and leftovers of fish and meat and the packaging until the morning of garbage pickup.
Fruit trees. Pick fruit as it ripens and keep the ground clear of fallen fruit. Excess fruit can be offered to neighbours and friends. If you are unable to pick your fruit, please contact the North Shore Fruit Tree Project at or or 604.983.6444 (ext 640). This non-profit society will pick your fruit, leave you up to 25% of the fruit that volunteers pick, and donate the remaining fruit to local residents who are in need through the North Shore Harvest Project, the North Vancouver Salvation Army and Sage Transition House.

Bird feeders. Some people make their birdfeeders inaccessible to bears while others feed only small amounts of high quality seed at a time. Other residents choose to take down bird feeders during bear season as there is plenty of natural food for birds at that time. Some people attract birds by providing a flower garden, bird bath, dusting site, or nesting boxes.

Compost. A healthy compost requires equal proportions of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials. Greens include fruits and vegetable scraps, fresh grass clippings, plant trimmings, coffee grounds and tea bags. Brown materials include fallen leaves, sawdust, torn up paper egg cartons, rolls from toilet paper and paper towels, paper towels, napkins and coffee filters. Eggshells that have been washed well and crushed can also be added.  

It is important to add oxygen to the compost by poking deep holes throughout with a long stick.
How to Compost in Bear Country

Questions about composting can be answered on the Compost Hotline - 604.736.2250.
Food left outside. Pet food, fridges and freezers are bear attractants and should not be stored outdoors.

Barbecues. Remember to clean your barbecue after each use by burning it on high for 10 minutes and scraping off any food from the grill. It is important to remove the grease container and take it indoors to empty and clean after each use.


Bear-Resistant Bins


The District of North Vancouver will be issuing two lockable carts to each single-family home late in 2016 or early 2017.

In the District of West Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver, lockable carts can be used for storage purposes only as the collection is done manually.

Please contact your municipality or call 604.317.4911 for more information.


The TuffBoxx residential line of animal resistant storage solutions, are top lid loaded bins for securely storing residential waste. These containers are designed to keep bears, raccoons, dogs, squirrels, birds, and any other wildlife from accessing your garbage. 

Watch the bear resistant bin test video.

Manufactured and distributed by TUFFBOXX INC.

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