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Selkirk College problem dumpster continues to concern Bear Aware

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
July 20th, 2014

Local coordinator Joanne Siderius of Bear Aware was shocked to see a dumpster located in the parking lot at Selkirk College Tenth Street campus in upper Fairview continue to be a hazard for bears.

Siderius said this dumpster was noted as a problem in the Nelson Areas E and F Bear Hazard Assessment in 2012.

However, the cause of the problem is not the resident students attending the Tenth Street Campus. The blame for this problem is the public using the bin as a dumping ground for household waste instead of disposing garbage properly in the Regional District of Central Kootenay Refuse Station or through City of Nelson garbage collection.

“Garbage attracts bears,” Siderius told The Nelson Daily.

“This garbage contains food items and bears (and other animals like raccoons and skunks) will eat anything people eat.”

Staff at Selkirk College is aware of the problem.

However, with students at the Tenth Street Residence needing access to the bins on a regular basis, the college must provide unlocked access.

But the location has now become a favourite target for people to dump their garbage and the bins fill up overnight.

“The college is monitoring the situation closely, but is concerned about attracting bears into the Fairview neighbourhood area,” a college spokesperson said.

“Residents are being asked to stop using the bins to dispose of their personal garbage.”

Siderius said Selkirk College is in the wildlife interface of town and bears do travel by and through this area. 

“Such a passing bear could be attracted to the food in this garbage and learn to forage for more garbage in town,” Siderius explained.

“Bears will also return to this site to find another meal and may learn from this free meal to start looking for food near people.”

It is a bylaw offence for people illegally discarding of garbage in the City of Nelson with fines starting at $200.

“Dumping garbage into this dumpster will increase the safety risk to people from bears (especially in a human activity centre like the college) and may result in the death of bears that come to the area,” Siderius said.

Categories: GeneralHealth

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