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Inuvik installs wildlife-proof bins to keep furry neighbours away

The Town of Inuvik put out about 25 new animal-proof garbage bins in the community as part of its long-term waste strategy.

The town plans on switching from individual garbage bins to large, shared blue bins

Grant Hood, Inuvik's senior administrative officer, says they hope to have the blue bin program completed in the next couple years. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Inuvik residents may have noticed an increased number of blue garbage bins around town.

It's part of the town's long-term plan to replace residents' garbage pick-up bins with big wildlife-proof blue bins.

"We've been working from the outside of the town to centre, so wildlife can't get into the garbage. So that's why people have seen a bunch of new ones pop up around town," said Grant Hood, senior administrative officer for the Town of Inuvik.

Hood said about 25 bins were put up around town, a lot of them in the main areas. Although this has been ongoing for years, Hood said the past few summers they have only put out a few new bins.

"The bins aren't the cheapest and we can only get so many bins at one time," said Hood.

"So we will do it in bulk … we made a conservative effort to do a bunch."

The Town of Inuvik added about 25 animal-proof blue garbage bins to help deter wildlife from scavenging for food in town. (Google Maps)

He said this also makes the garbage more centralized, which is more convenient for both residents and the garbage collectors.

The purpose for the new bins? To help deter animals from coming into town and scavenging the garbage, Hood says.

"It becomes more of a preventive type situation. With bears we are seeing more and more bear activity although the number of bears in town I think has reduced," Hood said.

"And part of the reason is because there is no food for them because people don't have food out at the end of their street."

Hood said residents will still pay the monthly fee, they will simply put the garbage in a different bin now. They are spaced about every four houses. Soon, there will be decals stuck to the blue bins that will help educate people about what can and can't be put into the bins.

"Some people try to squeeze a chair in there ... things like that and really heavy items can cause problems as well," said Hood.

Bigger items should be brought to the solid waste facility. The town will look into reopening the scavenging area now that bear season is over.

Town council just updated the garbage collection by-law for the first time since 1992, which will update some definitions.

Hood said it will still take about three to four more years for the town to replace all the smaller bins with big blue bins.

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