Raccoon-resistant bins latest weapon in Toronto’s war on trash-loving critters

Toronto Mayor John Tory has a foe that he believes can be vanquished: pesky raccoons who keep knocking down residents’ green bins.

As the Toronto Star noted, Tory evoked a little bit of Winston Churchill when he vowed that the city will rise up to the challenge.

“We have left no stone unturned in our fight against the Raccoon Nation,” said Tory.

“Defeat is not an option.

The city underwent extensive testing and consulted an animal behavioural specialist to figure out how to build a bin that would keep out raccoons.

They even shot an atmospheric video showing raccoon trying–and failing–to get into the new bins.

The animal behaviourist, Suzanne MacDonald, tried to tempt raccoons by leaving rotisserie chickens in the bin prototypes and observed raccoons failing to open all three. She noted that raccoons have little hands, each with five fingers but don’t have opposable thumbs which means they can’t grasp and turn a knob or dial.

We think they’re evil geniuses…They are smart, but we have big brains and they have small brains. If they get into our garbage, it’s our fault.”

The city has tried numerous tactics in the past to keep raccoon out of garbage. Residents used to be able to buy raccoon latches with hooks from the city that were supposed to keep the critters out.

Now the next generation of green bins are larger and have wheels for stability (hmmm, wonder if the raccoons will figure out a way to wheel the bins away?)

The new bins also have a tight-fitting latch.

In some areas of the city, raccoons have learned to unlatch the old bins and even securing lids with bungee cords and latches have failed to stop them.

For now, we’ll give this battle score to Toronto but the war is far from over.

The raccoons, meanwhile, are figuring out how to develop opposable thumbs.

 

h/t: Toronto Star

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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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