Technology: 0, Raccoons: 1.
When “raccoon-proof” green bins were introduced in Toronto in 2016, people hailed it as a victory in the eternal battle against the trash panda. Toronto is nearly overrun with raccoons, who are often found scavenging garbage and looking for scraps, and people are constantly trying to figure out ways to keep the animals out of their homes, garages, and green bins. However, it turns out that new bins designed to keep pests out are no match for a determined raccoon, and a video taken by Toronto resident Graham Boyce proves it.
“There I was minding my own business,” the caption of Boyce’s video reads, “when I heard the toboggan being loudly tossed aside — an alert [that] the raccoon was atop the bins.”
Boyce, who keeps toboggans piled on top of his green bin, grabbed his camera when he heard them topple and started filming. He didn’t have to wait long before he got video proof of something that many Torontonians have long claimed: that raccoons have figured out how to get into the raccoon-proof bins.
“I thought that’s pretty brazen,” Boyce told the CBC. “It’s broad daylight, a busy street, and I thought there’s no way he can open that bin anyway — it’s raccoon-proof. A few seconds later, there he was opening the handle and helping himself to dinner,” he said.
Mayor John Tory, who was a big supporter of the new bins when they came out, took it upon himself to respond to the video. “I would remind people there are sections in the Criminal Code that deal with consorting with the enemy,” he joked. “So those who are posting the video are running the risk of making information available to others in the raccoon population that may take advantage of that.”Tory also said that the bins have been, overall, quite successful, with most failures being attributable to loose screws or manufacturing flaws.
However, according to Boyce, his bin was new and fully functional. He believes the raccoons are just learning new tricks, and some have mastered the art of opening the bin lids.
“What I couldn’t believe is he could actually with his hind legs, hang on the side of the bin, reach down and grab a bag that was way down at the bottom. . . . Quite incredible, I have to say,” he said.
“He’s obviously done it before and he’s quite good at it.”