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Of Raccoons, Trashcans, and Bungee Cords

August 5, 2013

single bungee on compostables trash can

A few days ago, I’d posted about the raccoon that visited our trashcans… and knocked them over to raid them.

Several neighbors suggested using bungee cords to keep them closed. Some were kind enough to send a detailed explanation of how to bungee a trashcan so the raccoons couldn’t open it.  So we duly got some cords, and fastened down the lids of the green “compostables” bin, and the black “landfill” bin. (We didn’t bother about the blue bin; we figured recyclable paper and plastic and cans wouldn’t interest the critters.)  And it worked!  I added a note to my previous post to say so.

Until it didn’t.

raccoon at night 2a

A few nights later, they pushed over the green bin, and then deftly moved aside the bungee cord enough to open the lid and drag out its contents.  Now what? we wondered. Someone suggested boring a hole through the lid of the trashcan and putting a chain through it.

Instead, we decided to try a double bungee, two cords on each bin.

So a few nights ago, I heard the now-familiar crash. They’d pushed the trashcan over. But this time the bungee cord held, and the bin stayed shut.  We hurried out, and saw a couple of raccoons scamper off.  We may have a solution.

trashcan with bungee cords

If we do, it’s this:

  • Fasten each bin with two bungee cords in parallel, hooked over the handle, and the bar on the other side that’s used to lift the trashcan over the truck. You may have to open the hooks a little with pliers so they can grab the bars; at least we did.
  • Remember to replace them every time you put something in the trashcan. My experience is the raccoons come around 1-5 a.m., but who knows? Maybe they come earlier on some days and some places. [Edited to Add: The other evening, they showed up before 10 p.m.]
  • Remember to remove the cords in the morning before the garbage trucks come round, or they won’t clear the garbage.

Of course, it’s a lot easier if you can just keep the trashcans in your garage, and put them out only on the morning of Garbage Day. But if you have two cars parked inside, or a garage full of Stuff, it may not be feasible.

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