Raccoon-resistant green bin designed by Ontario inventor
Published Wednesday, August 27, 2014 8:21AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 27, 2014 8:24AM EDT
A Toronto man has designed a raccoon-proof garbage bin to keep the late-night prowlers out of the trash.
Last year, the city issued a request for proposals from the public for a new, raccoon-proof green bin. The bins filled with organic waste have been a favourite for the furry bandits since their introduction in 2009.
Toronto resident and inventor Simon Treadwel thinks he may have a winning bid, after testing several prototypes in his garage.
"The first attack a raccoon has is knocking a bin over," Treadwel told CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman on Tuesday.
The green bins currently in circulation were designed to be animal-resistant, according to the City of Toronto website. The bins are built of durable plastic, able to withstand being scratched and knocked over, and the lid has a tight-fitting latch to deter prying claws.
Still, homeowners across the city have reported run-ins with the critters, and even Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has spoken out against them.
"You could yell and scream at them but they just look at you," Ford said at a news conference last week, adding that his wife and kids were afraid to take the garbage out.
The prototype Treadwel created won't open, regardless of which way the bin is knocked over, due to a series of latches hidden around the lid. Treadwel said he spent hours testing different latch systems before finding one that worked.
Though the bin has to be raccoon-proof, the lid also has to open automatically when picked up by the collection trucks. Treadwel's bin opens automatically when it's inverted upside-down.
He's been leaving the bin outside with a surveillance camera on it, watching the raccoons' methods. He said that no raccoons have figured out the system so far, but he thinks some of the craftier creatures may learn to open it in time.
"They're ingenious animals," he said. "The city said it best a couple of years ago: If you can prevent them from getting in 90 to 95 per cent of the time, you've got a winner."
With files from CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman