Bear Smart Composting

I wrote a whole chapter in my last book about composting when bears are in the vicinity. I barely remember what I wrote now, except for one tip. Douse with lime any fruit you put into your compost bin. Apparently bears don’t like lime, at least not the chalky garden variety. Fortunately, the folks at North Shore Recycling Program have more to say on the subject. In partnership with the North Shore Black Bear Society and Bear Aware, they have put together some guidelines for composting in bear country. Greater Vancouver’s North Shore sits on the edge of a rainforest. As well, development has crept up the hillside in recent years, encroaching on bear habitat and putting bears and humans into closer contact. Bear visitations are becoming more and more frequent. Once bears become accustomed to easy meals, they keep coming back for more. But as the North Shore Recycling web site says, it’s not the compost bins that are the real problem, nor the bears fault either. It’s careless humans who aren’t as smart as the average bear. Bears are attracted to smelly garbage cans, fruit trees and especially fallen fruit, dirty barbeques, bird feeders and pet food left outdoors. The group gives bear smart composting workshops, backyard compost coaching and garden party style sessions, so you can invite your friends and neighbours to become more bear savvy, too. The program raises awareness and appreciation of bears and how they fit into natural ecology.

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