Trail resident Steven Tuai and his friends Crystal Mathews and Gord Lindsey are sharing their discovery of a bear-proof composter with the community.

Trail resident Steven Tuai and his friends Crystal Mathews and Gord Lindsey are sharing their discovery of a bear-proof composter with the community.

Stylish composter foils bears

Relying on “black gold” to nourish their Greater Trail gardens has led a couple of friends to creating bear-proof composters.

Relying on “black gold” to nourish their Greater Trail gardens has led a couple of friends to creating bear-proof composters.

Now, after solving their own critter problems, a team of gardeners swears by their smell-resistant composters that not only look attractive in their backyard but also keep the bears away.

“Like a lot of gardeners we want to make compost but we’ve all had experiences with bears,” said Trail resident Steven Tuai. “We were still going to compost but we needed a way to do it and that led us on a search.”

Tuai and husband and wife team Gord Lindsey and Crystal Mathews ordered a design from Critter Proof Composter based in Lund on the Sunshine Coast and are now offering to solve fellow gardeners’ problems.

Known as Bearly There Composting, the team will work with buyers on either sharing their blueprint with a handy customer or building the entire unit at a price that starts at $1,000.

The composter, which has an inner cavity for garden and kitchen waste, uses a concrete form faced with stone and is sealed with recessed bolts that hold an aluminum lid, front door and back vent in place.

Inside, a screen is angled across the bottom of the bin that allows air from the ventilation hole at the bottom to move up through the compost and out through a vent at the top. Because hot air rises, the heat of the compost constantly flows out through the top vent and pulls cooler air in from the bottom, keeping the waste from getting moist and rotting.

Finding bear paw prints on her back door was enough for Mathews to seriously consider the bear-proof composter.

“It’s a smorgasbord to them,” she said. “Even though I was careful of what I put in there, it was a buffet for them.”

After 13 years in their Rossland home, she and her husband can rest easy that they won’t find pests looting through yesterday’s egg shells, chicken bones or garden waste.

“Of course, there is the other end of it, too,” added Tuai. “What comes out of that compost is good for your garden. It provides you with the nutrients and in Trail, where it’s mostly sand, anything we get out is really black gold for your garden.”

Those interested in viewing the composter or ordering their own, can contact Mathews at 362-9670 or Tuai at 364-3812.