Working together to be bear safe

a die shot of a garbage truck showing the sticker that has a picture of a bear and says SECURE YOUR TRASH
Media Releases


Prince George, B.C. - The City of Prince George is urging all residents to do their part during a record summer for bear sightings in the area.

The Conservation Officer Service released information last week saying they had received more than 1200 calls since the start of August regarding human-bear conflicts in Prince George, leading to 21 bears being put down.

Since April 1, 2023, there have been 316 complaints received to the City’s bylaw department in relation to bears.

The complaints are centered around two bylaws:

  • Bylaw 7661 Garbage Regulation Bylaw section 6 which regulates the time that garbage cans can be put out and must be brought in (4 a.m. to 7 p.m. on collection day).
  • Bylaw 8425 Property Maintenance section 11 which covers animal attractants – like garbage, birdfeeders, and fruit trees.

Bylaw Services has issued 41 tickets and 19 warnings in the past few months. In previous years, no tickets were written, as staff focused on education.

“The emphasis has gone past education and we have gone to enforcement because it has become a public safety issue this year,” bylaw manager Charlotte Peters said.

“The sheer quantity of bears this summer should be motivating people to do the right thing,” she said.

The City also reminds property owners of rental properties or short-term rentals it is important to make sure the tenants or houseguests are educated and aware of the bylaws and other measures to reduce bear attractants.

The City’s role

There are 209 bearproof garbage cans in City parks, 185 singles and 24 doubles. Citizens are asked to ensure they aren’t leaving litter or food scraps when enjoying outdoor spaces. Any new park or park that is being upgraded will receive a bear resistant garbage receptacle.

Waste management services also utilize locks on the 3,4- and 6-yard bins at Parks’ Sports Fields and Civic Facilities around Prince George, of which we have 41 bins with locking lids.

Following the discontinuation of the Bear Resistant Cart Pilot Project in 2022, the City continues to explore different latch mechanisms available for garbage carts, and research into solutions that are cost effective. Many of the latch styles explored wrap over the lid and attach to the side, which slows the bears down however they still can still smell the food and can still get in. Given the biggest attractant is the garbage carts themselves, storing them in an enclosed space where possible is the best solution.

The City’s waste team is assisting cleaning up garbage left by bears where possible, but it is homeowners’ responsibility to clean up garbage, and to ensure fruit from fruit trees is not left lying around.

In addition, the City of Prince George is applying an educational wrap to City garbage trucks. In partnership with the Regional District of Fraser Fort George, two trucks had the wrap applied last year and two new trucks will be done this year (see image above).

Personal responsibility

Citizens can help to reduce bear interactions. Keep bears safe by:

  • Bringing your cart to the curb no earlier than 4 am on collection day.
  • Locking your garbage cart in a garage or shed where possible.
  • Securing your garbage cart using straps.
  • Cleaning your garbage cart regularly with bleach.
  • Removing ripe fruit and vegetables from trees and gardens.
  • Cleaning outdoor barbecues and grease traps regularly.
  • Feeding pets indoors and removing bird feeders from reach.
  • Rinsing out all recycling materials.
  • Freezing especially smelly garbage until collection day.

To report a bear conflict or aggressive bear behavior, call the COS Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

To report a wildlife attractant or garbage regulation bylaw infraction, contact Prince George Bylaw Services at 1-250-561-7622 or

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Media contact:

Claire Thwaites, senior communications advisor
Mobile: 778-349-1386