This year many people are getting used to the new kitchen scrap program and containers.
Some people say we have more bears in Sooke this year and some say this is because of the kitchen scraps.
Debb Read says, “This year’s bear numbers are the same as the year before and the year before that. We always have bears coming into Sooke this time of year.”
Wild Wise Sooke has been actively posting bear sighting and locations encouraging Sooke residents to be bear aware, manage their attractions, and keep garbage indoors. Everyone is talking about bears this year in Sooke. Wild Wise Sooke is hoping that this awareness will remind Sooke residents to Be Bear Wise.
We have always had the same amount of garbage, except now we are separating it. Our garbage has always gone to curb side for pick up, but now we are putting the kitchen scraps bucket there too.
Our responsibility is the same, do not put garbage out the night before collection day and do not store any type of garbage outside. Keep all containers clean and stored inside, not outside the backdoor or on the deck.
Tips for the Kitchen Scrap Program[sam id=”15″ codes=”true”]Wild Wise Sooke suggests you keep the kitchen scrap container in your freezer. If kept frozen there is no smell in your house or smell for the bears. On collection day, it is odor free to be left at curb side.
Keep garbage and kitchen scrap containers behind closed doors in your garage, basement or storage area. Garbage and kitchen scrap containers that are left in open carports or in your backyard is an easy target for bears, and other rodents like rats and raccoons.
- Put your garbage and kitchen scraps out on the morning of collection day and not the night before. Avoid stockpiling garbage, as this is a good way to attract bears.
- If you take your garbage to the dump yourself, make sure that it is stored behind closed doors and take it to the dump on a frequent basis, especially in hot weather. Bears can smell garbage from 2 klm away.
- Thoroughly clean your garbage and kitchen scrap containers every 2-3 days.
- Empty your kitchen scraps container frequently. Keep the lid of your kitchen scraps container & curbside tote tightly closed. This will help prevent odors that will attract bears
- If you have garbage pickup, Place your curbside tote at the curb every collection day – even if it is not full. This will ensure you have enough space in your tote each week and help to reduce odours.
- Storing your tote indoors in a freezer is a good solution to avoid smells in your home.
Warmer weather can increase odour problems. Keep the tote out of the sun.
- Use paper to line the bottom of your kitchen scraps container & curbside tote
- Line the bottom of your kitchen scraps container with a paper towel and your tote with newspaper to help absorb odours and moisture and ease in cleanup. Remember that soiled paper products (towels, plates, napkins, cups, etc.) are also accepted in the program. In really hot weather, try layering a few sheets of newspaper or cardboard in your tote.
- Freeze meat & fish scraps until your collection day. This will limit odor problems and reduce the risk of insects in your Tote. Store meat and bones (protein sources) in your freezer until collection day (they could be further wrapped in newspaper before being put into the kitchen container or tote).
- Rinse your kitchen container & curbside tote frequently. Regular cleaning with vinegar and hot water or a mild biodegradable detergent is especially important during warmer months. Clean residue off the rim and outside of your tote as well. Fly eggs and maggots can be killed by using boiling water or sprinkling them with vinegar.
- Keep odors at a minimum the natural way. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda, garden lime, biodegradable laundry detergent, or vinegar in your kitchen container and curbside tote as a deodorizer.
Remember — to change the behaviour of bears, we must first change our own. Do not wait until you have a problem to do something about it. It is our responsibility if we choose to live in bear country to learn how to live with bears.
“We can all keep wildlife wild and our community safe.”
Debbie Read – Wild Wise Sooke Community Coordinator
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