Toronto

Raccoon-resistant green bins latest weapon in Toronto's compost battle

Toronto’s putting its raccoons on a diet. The city begins rolling out new greenbins next week, designed to lock out the perennial compost bandits.

Rollout to start in Scarborough next week, finish downtown by end of 2017

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.

Toronto's putting its raccoons on a diet.

The city begins rolling out new green bins next week, designed to lock out the perennial compost bandits.

The raccoon-resistant latch sits on top of the greenbins and has to be twisted at a 90-degree angle to open. That's something raccoons physically cannot do — at least according to the bin's manufacturer.

"Raccoons apparently don't have thumbs so they don't have the ability to turn a lever," Rob Orpin, the city's director of collections and litter operations said with barely suppressed glee Monday. "There's not a raccoon that's gotten into it yet."

'We cannot be defeated by these critters'

The latest weapon in the war on "raccoon nation" is essentially a side effect of creating a more automated system for organics retrieval. At 97 litres, the new bins will hold more than double the amount of compost compared to the current model, and will be hoisted into a truck by machine instead of by a collections worker, Orpin said.

The city's current bins are also at the end of their 10-year lifespan, Mayor John Tory said when he spoke about the raccoon strategy last spring.

"We are ready, we are armed. We are motivated to show that we cannot be defeated by these critters," Tory said mirthfully.

The bin's manufacturer, Rare Pacific, makes about 7,000 of the bins each week, 6,000 of which will be set aside for Toronto.

Scarborough will be the first part of the city to get the new composters, and Etobicoke is next in line. Orpin said that North York and north Toronto will get their bins in early 2017, with the rollout for the rest of the city slated for that summer. 

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