Raccoon-proof green bin…hmm not so much
TORONTO – Toronto’s new “raccoon-proof” green bins, which rolled out just days ago, may not be so critter-resistant after all, a Scarborough resident is alleging.
A photo shared by CBC, showing a gaping hole on the top of a Raccoon-proof green bin with apparent teeth marks was posted to Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
“I don’t know whether it was a squirrel or a raccoon to tell you the truth,” the Scarborough resident, who did not want to be identified, told CBC News. “The other ones, they never got into the other ones.”
City of Toronto official Jim MacKay say they can’t confirm the cause of the damage and say calls to the resident have not yet been returned.
“Without being able to get our hands on the container, we can’t confirm whether it was an animal, a squirrel, a rat… We know for sure it’s not a raccoon because of the shape of the action that was taken,” said Jim MacKay, the general manager at Toronto Solid Waste Management. MacKay added it can’t be ruled out that it was “a human act.”
“We want to do an investigation to make sure it isn’t a design flaw,”
On Thursday, the chair of the city’s public works and infrastructure committee, Coun. Jaye Robinson, told CBC News the city would immediately replace the damaged Raccoon-proof green bin and investigate the cause if it could only get in touch with the resident.
“The problem is we can’t gain access to the green bin and so there [are] some questions being raised right now about whether there may be tampering … or if it is indeed some type of rodent that’s once again one-upped us.”
— Chachacha (@chachacha2014JN) May 4, 2016
‘If they can, they’d get inside my house too’
Toronto resident Al Eslinger says he wouldn’t be surprised if squirrels were to blame for the green-bin damage.
“They’re like sabre-tooth squirrels,” Eslinger said. “We figure [the bins] should be steel-reinforced.”
But the bin design has to take into account several factors — not only enthusiastic critters.
“It’s also designed for the way the material’s going to be collected, the type of material that’s in it, the weather conditions that the bins will be exposed to…,” McKay said.
McKay says the city has talked to the bins’ manufacturer, who confirmed that in their opinion there is no problem with the resin in the bins or their design.
The bins feature a latch that sits on top of the green bins 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.
For now, the possibility that animals could be getting into the newly-designed bins has some residents on edge.
“There is a family of raccoons around… they own the place,” Sona Bediakian said. “If they can, they’d get inside my house too.”
Etobicoke is next in line for the new bin rollout. Rob Orpin, the city’s director of collections and litter operations, told CBC News last week that that North York and north Toronto will get their bins in early 2017.
News of the incident seems to have put the mayor on edge as well.