Critter-proof compost bins revealed, Toronto mayor declares war on 'raccoon nation'
A new, critter-resistant green bin was approved by Toronto's public works committee on Thursday.
The new 100-litre bins are twice the size of the current ones, and come with locking lids and latches.
"We are ready, we are armed and we are motivated to show that we cannot be defeated by these critters," Toronto Mayor John Tory said as he unveiled the bin design Thursday.
"I think people are with us on this one in wanting to make sure...we defeat raccoon nation."
Council will have final say later this month on the $31-million contract to the green-bin manufacturing company Rehrig Pacific.
Rehrig has proposed replacing the current bins, which were rolled out between 2002 and 2006, with a new, larger model designed to keep raccoons away from Toronto trash.
The new bins are twice the size of the current bins, and come with locking lids and latches. The lids are constructed in a way that Rehrig says allows them to be opened by automated collection vehicles, but are resistant to prying paws.
In a video put together by the City of Toronto , a raccoon can be seen standing on its hind legs struggling to get the lid off. A second backyard bandit comes to its aid, but neither can remove the large lid. The lid is too high for the raccoons in the video to reach while standing on their hind legs, and they can’t get the lid open while standing on top of it.
After struggling and stretching, the raccoons knock the bin on its side. Even with teamwork the pair can’t get the lid off, and end up walking away, leaving the trash intact.
The Los Angeles-based company’s design was tested by an animal behavioural specialist and reviewed by a focus group of Toronto residents.
Approximately 500,000 green bins are currently in use across the city, according to a March report from Solid Waste Management Services General Manager Elizabeth Goodger. The bins are reaching the end of their life expectancy, Goodger wrote.
If approved, the new bins are expected to roll out in late 2015 or early 2016. It will take approximately 18 months for the bins to be delivered city-wide, according to officials.