Bad bear season prompts Sudbury city council to pass new garbage bylaw

Next spring, you could get a ticket in Greater Sudbury for putting your garbage on the curb the night before.

City councillors say this and other bylaws needs to be enforced to work

Greater Sudbury has passed a new bylaw restricting citizens from putting garbage and recycling on the curb before 5 a.m. (Sherry Forte)
Starting next spring, Sudbury residents won't be allowed to put their garbage out the night before pickup day. Garbage will only be allowed at the curb after 5 AM on garbage day. We have some audio of Greater Sudbury city council discussing the bylaw. 5:01
Next spring, you could get a ticket in Greater Sudbury for putting your garbage on the curb the night before.

On Tuesday night, city council passed the new bylaw that requires citizens to put out their trash no earlier than 5 a.m., between April 1 and Nov. 30.

This is following steps other northern towns and cities have taken to keep hungry bears from coming into neighbourhoods, as they did in droves this summer in Sudbury.

Ward 8 city councillor Al Sizer, who has taken the lead on this issue by helping form a bear policy committee, said  the bear problem won't be solved with just a bylaw.

"We can sit here and we can pass motions and bylaws all we want as a council, but if we don't get some buy-in and some help from the residents, this problem won't go away," said Sizer, adding that he sees this as a "first step" and plans to bring forward other measures to help control hungry bears.

Ward 8 Greater Sudbury city councillor Al Sizer (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada )

Larger discussion needed

The city is planning an education program in the spring to go along with the new garbage rules, but several councillors also stressed the need to enforce this and other bylaws.

Ward 6 councillor Rene Lapierre said he believes it's time for a larger discussion about the bylaw department and how many of the city ordinances are very difficult to enforce.

Ward 10 councillor Fern Cormier agreed.

"We can pass all the bylaws we want, bears don't respect bylaws," he said.

"Without enforcement this is very much a, 'Gee let's pat ourselves on the back and look what we did to solve a problem' kind of situation."

Cormier said he sees this as similar to the idling bylaw the city passed a few years ago that is "very impractical" to enforce. He said there won't be any "meat on the bone" until bylaw officers are able to respond to calls in the evenings.

"The understanding has to be that this isn't a banker's hours kind of job any more. Because if we're going to do this, we have to be able to back it up," said Cormier.

On mobile? Take our poll here.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.