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Hungry black bears can't get in to Port Coquitlam green waste bins but keeping them out could cost more

Bears are trying to open green bins to get something to eat but can't quite figure out Port Coquitlam's triple lock system
PoCo bear locks
Port Coquitlam green bins have taken a beating from bears in recent days.

In the fight to keep bears from eating human garbage, Port Coquitlam bear locks may be a game-changer, judging by recent posts on Facebook.

The locks, including a third arm for extra protection, are keeping hungry bruins out of green bins despite heavy handling.

In recent days the bins have been tipped, tossed and even scratched, according to recent photos posted to the Port Coquitlam Community Facebook page.

But the bins have stayed shut tight, suggesting the hardy bins, outfitted with city-provided locks, can withstand the onslaught of even the hungriest black bear.

Now, though, the city is planning to charge more to replace locks to cover the cost of materials and administration.

Proposed changes to the city’s fees and charges bylaw would see the city charge $48 for a 240L lock, and $50 for a 360L lock, including the hasp.

Previously, $45 was charged if someone needed a replacement lock.

However, the price increase is being proposed to cover the cost of arranging lock pick up, record keeping and other associated duties in addition to the lock itself.

The third arm, which adds even more strength to the lock system, will cost $12 for a replacement for a 240-litre cart, and $14 for a third arm for a 360-litre bin.

These new charges reflect the cost of the equipment, according to the city, which first handed them out for free in 2015 to some bear prone areas and then to all areas of the city in 2020.

To qualify, a property owner has to be receiving city garbage collection.

NEW FEES FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGERS

Meanwhile, Port Coquitlam electric vehicle owners have a new place to charge up but they’ll have to pay to use the service.

PoCo is establishing fees for its new electric vehicle charging stations at its new community centre.

Four EV charging stations (two chargers with four ports for four parking spaces) are being installed at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre in the new 425-space underground parking lot.

Once up and running, the cost for using them will be $1 per hour for an initial two-hour period followed by $5 per hour for any portion of an hour thereafter, once new fees are approved.

Increasing the EV charging fees after the first two hours is to discourage prolonged use while keeping charging affordable and is consistent with EV charging fees in other municipalities, including Coquitlam, according to a report.