Toronto raccoons to meet their match

City committee to vote on new green bins

Toronto’s tenacious raccoon community may finally meet its match.

City staff want to exchange its existing green bins with a new line designed to resist these creatures.

These new compost bins are designed by California’s Rehrig Pacific Company and, according to city estimates, will cost approximately $31 million.

The city’s public works and infrastructure committee will vote on the proposition tomorrow, to decide whether the contract will be given to Rehrig.

The bins currently in use were rolled out between 2002 and  2005 ,they have a capacity of 46.5 liters. The staff report stated that they are now “reaching the end of their 10-year lifespan”.

The new line of green bins is also projected to have a use expectancy of 10 years and are more than twice the size.

“They are significantly larger than the current bins and I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by the size,” city councillor Jaye Robinson said.

“The new bins have a capacity of approximately 100 litres in size, feature a rodent resistant locking lid and can be collected with automated collection vehicles,” the city’s official report stated.

“It’s got a new twist lid and raccoons, according to animal behaviour specialists, can’t twist,” Robinson said. “They can do many things, they’re very ingenious, but raccoons can’t twist with their hands, so these bins are going to be much more raccoon-resistant than their earlier first generation of green bins.”

Toronto has been plagued with a raccoon problem for years and has held consultations at city hall in the past year looking for a solution to the problem.

Councillor Robinson thinks these new bins are going to be a welcomed addition to resident’s homes and their recycling- garbage experience because “people find it very frustrating when the raccoons are getting into their stuff.”

If the committee approves the contract tomorrow, the new bins could be distributed starting late 2015 or early 2016.