Wildlife and Human Cohabitation

September 29, 2003

With the recent passing of the Waste Bylaw amendment, the DRCA requested that bins in Discovery Ridge not be picked up before 9:00 am versus the current 7:00 am time to give residents more time to get the bins out to the curb in the mornings.

The City has now advised that, on a pilot basis, while the Wildlife Affected Area designation on Discovery Ridge is in effect, bins will not be collected before 9:00 am. This is effective immediately.

The City states, “We heard the DRCA’s and other resident’s concerns about the impact of not being able to put out carts the night before and want to support Discovery Ridge residents to reduce the potential for human/bear conflicts by following the Bear Smart residential waste best practices.” 

The DRCA will review this with the City near the end of the pilot to discuss permanent implementation pros and cons.

September 29, 2003

The City of Calgary has advised us of the following, effective September 29th, 2023.

To help The City respond more rapidly in future situations when public safety is at risk, amendments to the Waste Bylaw 4M2020 have been made.
Discovery Ridge has now been temporarily designated a “wildlife affected” area.

  • Areas designated as “wildlife affected” have new requirements for residential waste storage and set out for collection.
  • Specifically, Calgarians in those areas need to store waste in a garage, shed or other secure enclosure. This applies to all carts and extra bags of yard waste or tag-a-bag garbage.
  • Calgarians in these areas are required to limit overnight set-out of residential waste for collection. Waste can be set out no earlier than 5:00 am on the day of collection, and empty carts returned to their secure storage enclosure no later than 7:00 pm on the day of collection.
  • Based on our research of other municipalities, overnight set-out of waste is the most significant attractant of bears and other wildlife.

For details, please go to The City of Calgary: City Council Agenda & Minutes and search for 4M2020.
This is part of a comprehensive approach that starts with awareness and education to keep citizens and wildlife safe. For more tips, go to calgary.ca/bearsmart.

The City will be notifying Discovery Ridge residents via:

  • Garbage Day app alerts
  • Social media posts
  • Updates on the City’s website
  • Letters mailed to residents

Questions and/or comments on this matter should be directed to 311.

September 16, 2023

As previously communicated, the DRCA’s request to the City of Calgary from the onset was twofold:

  1. To have the City provide its expertise and resources regarding appropriate waste and recycling practices for a community such as ours.
  2. That Discovery Ridge immediately be considered for alternative wildlife-resistant green bins.

With the recent passing of the Waste Bylaw amendment, the DRCA has now formally contacted the City again this week to request:

  1. That the decision not to proceed with alternative wildlife-resistant green bins for Discovery Ridge be revisited.
  2. That bin pickups not begin prior to 9:00 am in Discovery Ridge.

We understand the challenges both of the requests come with; however, we feel they are surmountable and reasonable for our community and its residents.

We continue to encourage residents to contact 311 if they have feedback, concerns, or suggestions on this matter. This is one of the primary sources the City uses to consider feedback.

Note: There were three (3) 311 contacts in the month of August regarding this matter. While FaceBook, etc., is a mechanism for conversation and thought sharing, comments on Facebook do not affect the City’s review or decision making process. If you’d like your voice heard, please contact 311.

September 12, 2023

Further to our previous communications, the proposed amendment to the City of Calgary’s Waste Bylaw to incorporate Wildlife Affected Areas was before City Council on September 12. This was unanimously voted in favour. This means the mechanism to designate a community within the City of Calgary as a Wildlife Affected Area, on a temporary basis, now formally exists. However, even though the bylaw amendment was passed, this designation has NOT been assigned to any community, including Discovery Ridge, at this time.

That being said, on Monday night Discovery Ridge resident security cameras captured bears around the community. Unfortunately, this included them getting into bins that were being stored outside. This is the season! It’s crucial for the wellbeing of both bears and the community, especially during the active season, that residents voluntarily follow the City’s recommendations. This includes securely storing bins and refraining from placing them out for pickup before 5:00 am or leaving them out past 7:00 pm, whether or not a Wildlife Affected Area designation is in effect for the community.

When the City conducted checkups in August on bin put-out times, 72% of households had not put their bins out before 5:00 am! We are making great strides as a community, so let’s all keep doing our part with bear-smart practices to protect wildlife and our residents and safely coexist together in our special community.

June 9, 2023
#keepbinsin & Don’t invite bears for a midnight snack!

Remember not to place bins out before 5:00 a.m. on pickup days. Let’s keep the wildlife and neighbourhood as safe as possible.

Do you have a neighbour that struggles with the morning bin placement time due to work schedules, medical conditions, or other reasons? Consider offering to assist by putting their bins out when you do your own. We have so many Snow Angels in our special community that we hope there will be some Bin Angels too. This is Discovery Ridge, after all, and it is the most special and neighbourly community around!

May 23, 2023
#keepbinsin & Don’t invite bears for a midnight snack!

City of Calgary Waste & Recycling representatives will be out in Discovery Ridge on bin pickup days this week. They will be tagging carts with reminders if they are placed out prior to 5 a.m.

Additionally, we have been advised that feedback provided to the City with regard to bins needing to be placed out for pickup only between 5-7 a.m. shows this is too tight of a time slot. The City is currently reviewing route schedules to start pickup in Discovery Ridge later than 7 a.m. to create a longer window for bin placement at the curb. We will provide an update as soon as more specific information is known.

Stay bear informed at this website: https://www.calgary.ca/waste/residential/be-bear-smart.html. Sign up for the Calgary Garbage Day app to receive updates and notifications.

April 26, 2023

Please answer your door on May 3rd when the City of Calgary Waste & Recycling Services team will be door knocking in Discovery Ridge. This is an educational campaign very specific to our community and is part of the work being done with the DRCA to support positive wildlife and human cohabitation. The team will have stickers for our green bins with them as well.

REMINDER: Please secure your bins and do not place them out until the morning of pick up. This is a widely proven method to minimize negative wildlife/human issues. Let’s work together to prevent any similar outcomes to last fall when bears had to be euthanized after becoming habituated to human garbage and compost.

Don’t invite bears for a midnight snack! Stay bear informed at this website: https://www.calgary.ca/waste/residential/be-bear-smart.html

Did you know? Drink cans (pop, beer, juice, etc.) are huge attractants for bears to blue bins. Please consider collecting these separately and dropping them off at the community Bottle Shack instead of putting them in blue bins. If you paid a deposit on the purchase of the item, then it is eligible for refund and these funds are necessary for our facility and event operations. Thank you!

Download the Calgary Garbage Day app to receive updates and notifications about garbage pickup dates.

Moose in Griffith Woods

April 24, 2023

PLEASE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – as far away as possible! Many residents have seen one or more of the majestic moose in and around Griffith Woods recently. How lucky we are to live here with Griffith Woods and wildlife as our neighbours! However, this cohabitation can bring about safety concerns if we don’t handle ourselves appropriately. For the safety of yourself, the moose, and other residents who may encounter them in the future, please keep your distance and keep dogs on-leash.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife has been a very helpful partner in guiding our community with regard to how best to approach the moose situations. They advise the reason that moose charge is due to people getting too close. They may not even charge at the person that got too close but perhaps another innocent person further away. It is imperative that people do not get close, please do not try to get a better photo by moving towards a moose or have off-leash dogs that might run at the moose, thereby scaring them.

If you do encounter a moose, immediately back away from them to give them as much space as possible. If they do charge, run away as quickly as you are able to and step behind a large tree if need be.

Let’s leave the wildlife alone to enjoy their home in the woods, while keeping each other safe by simply keeping our distance from them! To learn more: https://www.alberta.ca/moose.aspx.

Bears in Discovery Ridge

January 1, 2023

In 2022, four bears were euthanized in Discovery because they became reliant on our garbage for food. Access to food (things with a scent) is the most significant contributor to human-bear conflicts. This supports a strategy of reducing bear access to garbage.

To that end, several residents stepped forward to begin work to prevent similar outcomes in the future. To minimize the risk of negative human-bear interactions, the committee is leveraging these winter months, when wildlife activity is lower, to remind everyone to make room in their garage/shed to store all bins (black, blue, and green) inside from April – October, at a minimum.

In addition to bins being stored in garages/sheds, the DRCA is encouraging community members ensure all bins (black, blue, and green) are not left outside during the week and are put out curbside no earlier than 5:00 am MST on the day of pickup.