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Wildlife-Friendly Trash Disposal: Trash Bins

Posted Feb 22 2013 6:59am

Raccoon Trash can entangle, choke, and starve wildlife. This week we’ve been suggesting tips for disposing garbage to lessen harm to animals. Yesterday we talked about twine and fishing line . For our fourth and final tip, we turn to trash bins. 

Tip #4: Wildlife-Proof Your Trash Bin

If you live in the city or suburb, you’ve probably awoken to the scratching of paws amid the clatter of trashcan lids. How can you keep raccoons and other critters from rummaging through your potentially harmful garbage?

For wildlife, the more redolent the rubbish, the better. The Humane Society suggests discouraging scavenging by minimizing odors, washing and rinsing all food containers. That includes plastic food wrap, which you should always keep  in closed bags or containers.

Never leave trash bins unopened. For extra security, strap lids with a bungee cord tied to the handles. Better yet, cart out trash the morning it’s collected rather than the night before.

Connecticut-based Bearicuda sells wildlife-proof trash receptacles, including a Varmint Vault that keeps out small animals, like raccoons, chipmunks, and squirrels. The Vault features an automatic latching mechanism and a tough, durable body made of up to 50 percent recycled materials. 

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Image by iStockphoto/Vladimir Mitsner

HS_Melissa_BLOG Melissa Pandika is an editorial intern at Sierra and a graduate journalism student at Stanford University. Her interests include environmental health and justice, urban environmental issues, and conservation biology. She has a soft spot for cetaceans.


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