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Discovery Ridge temporarily declared as ‘wildlife affected’ after a rise in bear sightings

Residents of Discovery Ridge in southwest Calgary will now have to refrain from storing residential waste outside their homes at night, thanks to new amendments that were recently made to a waste bylaw.

The City of Calgary said in a statement that Discovery Ridge has been temporarily designated as a “wildlife affected” area after ongoing reports of bear sightings. As a result, residents will need to adhere to new waste storage regulations to avoid attracting bears.

“Areas designated as ‘wildlife affected’ have new requirements for residential waste storage and set out for collection,” the statement read.

“Specifically, Calgarians in those areas need to store waste in a garage, shed or other secure enclosure.”

Residents have been asked to put out waste, recycling, and compost bins for collection “no earlier than 5:00 a.m.” and to ensure that empty carts are stowed away in a secure enclosure before 7:00 p.m.

They are also encouraged to regularly clean their carts to minimize odours and freeze food waste before putting it outside for collection.

“Based on our research of other municipalities, overnight set-out of waste is the most significant attractant of bears and other wildlife,” the statement added.

A close-up shot of a man in a dark jacket.
Ward 6 Councillor Richard Pootmans said that this is the first time that Discovery Ridge has been declared as a ‘wildlife affected’ area and urged residents to help their neighbors with garbage disposal when needed. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

This is the first time that the community of Discovery Ridge has received “wildlife-affected” status, according to Coun. Richard Pootmans, who represents Ward 6 on the city’s west side.

“It’s been put in place after reports of several bear sightings,” Pootmans said in an interview with CBC News, adding that residents are being urged to ask their neighbours for help if needed.

“One of the things we like to encourage is to help your neighbour if they can’t get their bins out after 5:00 a.m. and we call them the bin buddy. Sort of like the Snow Angels program.”

“If you’re unable to get it [your garbage]… then please let your neighbour know and the neighbour can make sure that they get the bins out at the appropriate time.”

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