Toronto

Raccoon-resistant green bin? More like 'raccoon-friendly,' Scarborough man says

More than two years after Toronto mayor John Tory touted the city's new green bins as an "ingenious" new weapon in the battle against raccoons, a man in Scarborough says the sneaky critters continue to best the bins on his street.

New green bins — with locks to keep rodents and raccoons out — began rolling out last year

Alan Somerset says raccoons have been knocking over his supposedly raccoon-resistant green bin for three weeks now. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

More than two years after Toronto's mayor touted the city's new green bins as an "ingenious" new weapon in the battle against raccoons, a man in Scarborough has written to John Tory saying the sneaky critters continue to best the bins on his street.

Alan Somerset says for the last three garbage collection days, his green bin has been knocked over with compost scattered all over his driveway. He says the same thing has happened to some of his neighbours. 

After cleaning up the latest mess on Thursday, he decided to write an email to Tory.

Somerset found this when he went to collect his bin Thursday morning. (Alan Somerset)

"I had hope that the bins would help to restore the balance between the power of the raccoon and the power of the homeowner," he told CBC Toronto Friday. "But it turns out the ball is back in our court, and the raccoons once again have the upper hand."

The new green bins have a latch on the lid that has to be twisted at a 90-degree angle. Somerset said the animals have managed to dislodge the latch just enough to be able to open the bin.

He pointed to teeth marks on the latch, saying he suspects the raccoons may be using their mouths to twist the handle.

"The bins are not raccoon proof — they're not even raccoon-resistant," Somerset told CBC Toronto. "They're raccoon-friendly. Maybe even raccoon-ready."

For now, he's prepared to hold the lid closed with a bungee cord until the garbage truck comes by. 

Check out Toronto's latest weapon in the war on 'raccoon nation'

6 years ago
Duration 2:04
Toronto's putting its raccoons on a diet as the city begins rolling out new green bins next week that are designed to lock out the perennial compost bandits.

'It's not a big complaint,' city says

The city says it has rolled out 400,000 bins so far and has received only 15 complaints. 

Jim McKay, general manager of solid waste management services, says a team investigates each complaint. More often than not, he said, the issue is a faulty bin — one where a screw has come loose in the latch, for example.

The city is aiming to finish rolling out the new green bins by November. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

The city says it will repair or replace any faulty bins. 

"So far we haven't actually found any that we can confirm 100 per cent that a raccoon's actually gotten into them," he said.

"In our eyes, it's not a big complaint at all right now."

McKay said the rollout of the new green bins is about 85 per cent complete. The goal is to finish delivery by November.

With files from Taylor Simmons

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