Bear-resistant garbage and recycle bins are coming to Rossland in June, and the Bear Smart committee is looking for local businesses to sponsor them during a three-month trial period.
Last year, residents may recall the frequent morning messes encountered downtown after the decidedly non-bear-proof garbage cans were knocked over and their contents strewn about by hungry animals in the night.
Sharon Wieder, the director for Bear Aware and a member of the Bear Smart committee along with Sue Wrigley and Rachael Roussin, said the plan is to rent three solar powered trash compacting garbage bins manufactured by Big Belly Solar, and also three units for returnable recyclables, like pop bottles and cans.
“These units are tough and have great street appeal,” Wieder said. The appeal will be enhanced by Rossland Museum historical pictures that will wrap the bins and also act as “anti graffiti protection.”
“They’ll be installed by the City of Rossland who will also maintain the garbage bins during the rental period,” Wieder said. “They’ve got spots picked out on Columbia Avenue — the post office, Ferraros, and outside Ronnie Mah’s Best Food Mart.”
“I hope to get people to sponsor this,” she continued. Sponsors get to choose the historical picture that will wrap and beautify the bin, and will also get their organization’s logo and name on one side of the bin.
The rental program for the solar bins is $300 per month, and the returnable bins are $70 per month, with the first of the three month’s being offered free by the supplier.
More than one group may sponsor a bin, Wieder said, “if people want to partner up rather than take it on all themselves.”
The Bear Smart committee hopes sponsors sign up as soon as possible, to facilitate an early June delivery in time for the Spring Wing Ding festival.
Wieder claried that “we call them bear-resistant because we don’t want to mislead people. The reality is that there isn’t much that’s totally bear-proof. Leave anything with a big bear long enough and he’ll find a way in there!”
Nevertheless, these bins were found to be effective at the Whistler Olympics, and have also been thoroughly tested on animals.
“The trial period will allow us to see if these units are a good fit for our city,” Wieder said.
“Success will be measured by the inability of wildlife to access the garbage,” she said, but also by Rosslanders’ use of the bins: “by garbage in the bins instead of on the street [and] by the amount of returnable containers in the bins and not on the street.”
After the trial period, the Bear Smart committee hopes the city will budget to purchase the bins for a year-round solution.