Garbage Tips to Reduce Human-Bear Interactions

Sep 11, 2017

In order to reduce the chance of having a bear visit your property, the City of Greater Sudbury is encouraging residents to be extra vigilant in respect to garbage. Bears will travel extensively, looking for food. Human-bear interactions start when bears find access to unnatural food sources and begin to stay in urban areas. 

Removing these unnatural food sources will reduce your chance of being visited by a bear. The following tips may help in reducing the changes of a bear feasting on your garbage.

  • Keep your garbage inside your house or in a garage or shed until it needs to be put out for collection.
  • Place your garbage, in an airtight or animal proof container for storage.
  • Place garbage at the curb or roadside no earlier than 7 a.m. on your collection day. Never place garbage or compost out before the morning of your collection day.
  • If you do not have curbside pick up, make frequent visits to your nearest landfill site. Note: take the kids; they love trips to the landfill!
  • Blue boxes can also attract bears. Make sure recyclable containers are thoroughly rinsed. Occasionally rinse out your blue box with a household cleaner.
  • Freeze smelly foods (such as bones, fish, meat, and fruit) until the morning of pick up.
  • Did you know the lids on green carts lock? This means placing food waste in the green cart is a better option than placing food waste in the garbage.
  • Fill and put out bird feeders only in the winter months.
  • Speak and collaborate with your neighbours to ensure that those in your neighbourhood are following all the preventative measures to reduce human-bear interactions. 

If a bear is damaging your property, breaking into your home or threatening your personal safety or that of others, call 911.

If there is no immediate threat to personal safety, contact the Ministry of Natural Resources Bear Reporting Line at 1-866-514-2327. For tips and reporting, visit their website at

For more tips on how to keep bears away from your property, visit

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