Port Coquitlam's bear-resistant waste cart lock appears to be no match for one determined bruin.
In a TikTok video widely shared by a PoCo resident, a black bear pries open the lid of a green waste cart that has been strapped shut with a three-point locking device.
After grabbing the bin, the bruin managed to pop open the lid in less than a minute by poking, prodding and chewing the plastic.
It somehow manges to pop the strap off, even though it is held tightly by a third "security arm."
Posted in June by "Annie," the video is a reminder that the waste cart locks are "bear resistant" not "bear proof," according to the city.
Still, she was horrified to see that the bear was able to get into the cart despite a three-point lock.
@kindacutekindadangerous Port coquitlam, BC bear opens 3 point lock.#bc #bear #garbageday @CityofPortCoquitlam @BritishColumbiaThings #northside ♬ original sound - Annie
Video shows bear opening locked waste cart
At one point in the video, she expresses confidence that the bear won't be able to get into the cart.
"The joke's on you bear. We've got the three-point lock," she says during the video shot from inside the home.
As he tugs on the cart, she says, "No, no. Please don't do it."
The video ends abruptly when the bear manages to open the cart.
"I never intended on posting this so it’s kinda embarrassing me talking to myself/bear," Annie notes.
Many commentators have offered a number of tips, including scaring the bruin away with loud sounds.
But in her comments, Annie says loud noises aren't enough keep bears away.
Other comments range from practical advice to the humorous:
"Company needs to go back to the drawing board," said one.
"3 point lock... and the bear says.. oh yeah, hold my beer," said another.
"The raccoons figure it out first and teach the bears I swear," was another comment on the video.
Still, the issue of bears becoming frequent visitors to the city is a serious issue.
Earlier this spring, one mom complained about not being able to go into her yard because bears use it as a thoroughfare to get from blueberry fields to neighbourhoods.
And the city has been sending ambassadors and bylaw officers out to make sure people are securing their garbage, issuing tickets and warnings for those who don't secure attractants.
Port Coquitlam provides bear resistant locks
As well, the city has provided locks to all wildlife resident locks to all households on the nothern side of the municipality, as well as bear-prone areas on the southern side.
Locks for 240 L and 360 L carts, along with extra security arms (“third arm”), are available to Port Coquitlam residents who receive city waste collection services.
Meanwhile, the City of Port Coquitlam is reminding people that the bear locks are a "deterrent," and stronger steps — such as keeping waste carts in a locked area like a garage, or freezing waste — will help keep the smell down.
The following tips are provided:
- Freeze meat and strong-smelling food scraps, and wait until collection day to put them into the green cart
- Secure garbage and food scraps in either a wildlife-resistant enclosure (e.g., garage or shed) or by using the city’s wildlife resistant cart lock
- Set out carts between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. on collection day and re-secure your carts by 7 p.m.
As a reminder the locks are wildlife resistant and not bear proof, the city advises residents and businesses to:
- Lock carts, even when empty, except on collection day
- Feed pets indoors, clean barbecues after use and keep freezers indoors or locked up
- Don’t store strong-smelling garbage (diapers, grease barrels) or scented products (pop cans, toothpaste tubes, hairspray, mouthwash, etc.) outside
- Harvest fruit, berries and vegetables before or as they ripen, and clean up fallen fruit
- Remove bird feeders from April to November, or suspend them higher than 3.3 m
- Prevent access to small animals (chickens, rabbits) and berry bushes
- Ensure the city cart lock is used correctly (a video is available on the city website)