Living Smart with Urban Wildlife
Coquitlam is home to bears, cougars, coyotes, deer, raccoon, skunks, crows, pigeons and many other wildlife. This is why we find these animals in our neighbourhoods sometimes seeking out garbage for food as well as looking for shelter.
It is important that we deter wildlife from our properties by removing attractants, such as garbage, fruit, pet food and bird seed and preventing access to areas that wildlife may use as a den.
We live on nature’s doorstep and these animals are part of our environment, but they can become pests and unwanted visitors. Help prevent human-wildlife conflict.
Tips to Make Your Home and Property Wildlife Resistant
- Store Garbage Carts, Green Carts and recycling bins in an area inaccessible to wildlife.
- Freeze meat and strong smelling food scraps, and transfer to the Green Cart on collection day.
- Put all food waste in the Green Cart and not the Garbage Cart.
- Place Carts and recycling at the curbside after 5:30 a.m. on collection day.
- Keep your Green Cart and Garbage Cart clean between collection days.
- Store refrigerators and freezers inside.
- Keep pet food inside.
- Pick fruit as soon as it is ripe.
- Suspend bird feeders and clean up fallen bird seed.
- Practice responsible backyard composting.
- Keep barbeques clean.
- Take extra garbage to the United Boulevard Recycling and Waste Centre (fees will be applied).
- Install a wildlife resistant enclosure.
Wildlife Resistant Enclosures
If you are unable to store your carts in a secure area like a garage, a wildlife resistant enclosure can be used to secure solid waste and prevent wildlife from accessing attractants. Enclosures should be strong enough to withstand the weight and strength of a 600-pound animal. Please keep in mind that odours from solid waste can still attract wildlife, and you should continue to freeze food waste and keep carts clean to reduce smells.
Wildlife enclosures can include heavy-duty sheds, chain link fencing or prefabricated metal storage lockers/containers. A wildlife resistant enclosure is defined in the Solid Waste Management Bylaw No. 4679, 2016 as “a fully enclosed structure consisting of wall, roof, and door of sufficient design and strength so as to be capable of keeping its contents inaccessible to wildlife.”
When choosing a wildlife resistant enclosure, consider the following:
- Hinges and latches should be strong enough that they cannot be pried open by claws, and the trigger on the latch should be inaccessible to wildlife. Mount heavy duty hinges to the inside of the enclosure.
- The material should be strong enough that wildlife cannot bite through, bend or crush the enclosure.
- Wooden enclosures should use plywood that is at least 5/9” thick, 2x4 construction, and screws instead of nails.
- There should be no seams that claws can get into. Seams can be covered with metal flashing.
- Enclosures should be designed without any overhangs that claws can grab.
- The enclosure should be anchored to a stationary base to prevent tipping.
- The enclosure should have a roof/lid.
There are several companies that provide wildlife resistant enclosures, but current availability and costs may be impacted by global supply chain issues:
- HaulAll Hid-A-Cart – Can be purchased locally through Rollins and will fit up to one 360L garbage or green cart.
- Tuffbox – Can be ordered through Haney Home Hardware. This is a top-loaded enclosure. Garbage and green waste can be stored inside in a separate container, but will still need to be transferred to appropriate carts on collection day.
Please reach out to Urban Wildlife staff for product recommendations.
Violations and Fines
Residents can be fined up to $500 for not managing their attractants correctly. It is every resident’s responsibility to make sure their waste does not attract wildlife as outlined in our Solid Waste Management Bylaw (PDF) and Wildlife and Vector Control Bylaw (PDF).
In addition, feeding wildlife is illegal in British Columbia under section 33.1 and 88.1 of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Report a Concern
Report a wildlife concern using the following methods:
- To report wildlife attractants, improper storage of attractants or wildlife accessing attractants, call the City at 604-927-3660.
- To report wildlife that is aggressive or causing property damage, call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.