Raccoon proofing your Green Bin

According to the City of Toronto our new Green Bins are as Raccoon proof as possible. Obviously they’ve never met our neighbourhood raccoons (genius IQ’s I guess).

After cleaning up our back porch a couple of times, I decided a quick trip to Home Depot was in order

Raccoons usually like to tip things over, this gives them more leverage as they pry on the latch or lid. So I mounted a couple of brackets on the porch railing to suspend the bin a couple of inches off the ground. The bin is not very heavy, but this seems to prevent the little rascals from tipping it over.

Green bin hanger detail

Next, I needed a way to prevent them from opening the bin as the built in latch proved to be little or no deterrent. My first attempt was to wrap a bungie cord around the bin holding the latch closed – this was not good enough however, and they defeated it easily. Something stronger was required. The picture below shows my final solution.

Green bin latch detail

A 1/4″ eye bolt through the side of the bin, and a carabiner that clips through it and the existing latch makes it impossible for them to undo the latch and lift the lid, yet is still fairly easy to undo and open when filling. It has survived a couple of nights with a full load of decomposing goo, so I’m tentatively calling it a success.

Note: It is important to remember to unlatch the carabiner when putting the bin out for collection, otherwise its [stinky] contents will be left behind.

10 thoughts on “Raccoon proofing your Green Bin

  1. I was doing a search on the issue as I am having a problem with raccoons knocking the bin over when it is out for collection, on the street. Since you are clearly a pro at dealing with the issue, just thought I’d ask if you have had that problem and if so, what could possibly be done. I’m thinking of some kind of support to keep them upright when placed out there, but heck, I just don’t know. Cayenne pepper? Thanks for your time.

  2. Yeah, raccoons are rather persistent aren’t they?

    Well, currently I’m relying on being on a fairly busy street. If I hold off putting the bin out until the morning of the pickup, the raccoons have many more bins to choose from (with less deterrent than mine) and tend to leave mine alone. Also the street traffic seems to keep them at bay after it starts getting light. As this is working for me, I haven’t pursued the issue further.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I tried the bungie chord – it worked for a while. After a few successful nights my son asked if the bungie chord would keep the raccoons out of the bin. I answered, “No, but they don’t know it yet.” Just when I thought I had won, I came out one morning to a mess all over the patio – and then pretty much every night since it’s been the same thing.

    I will start with your I-bolt. That’s a really good idea. Thanks a lot.


  4. I live in North York, just north of the Don Valleu Golf course, needless to say the racoons are pretty fierce up here. For the last 3 collections, they have scattered our garbage all over the grass beside the pickup point (300 m. from our house). We put the green bin out at about 11:30 pm when our daughter can help us. We would love to hear of any mechanical deterrants of which the local collector’s union (eg bungee cords) would not object to.I like the idea of eye bolt and carabiner, but getting out to UNfasten it at 7:30 am, is not a solution I can manage, or which the City promised us when they said the green bins would be RACOON PROOF! Thank you for any ideas .

    1. you can buy a rascoon proff lock at metro grocery store for aound 9 $ . they really work my green bin was pulled off our porch and around the side of our house but it was locked. I t is very easy to install even come with the bit to drill the holes. but the best thing is no more mess.

  5. I’m not sure if I have much of an answer for you Margaret…

    According to this page you can buy an additional locking latch from the City for $9 that offers more security. I don’t know if this is easy enough for the collectors to release without passing your bin by though.

  6. You are on the right track with some of your solutions!

    We took things a little further and designed some other solutions for mass production and simpler instalation & use.

    more info: http://www.prlog.org/10351591-municipal-green-bins-are-finally-raccoon-proof-with-nononsense-lidlatchlock-made-of-steel.html

    and for blue bins: http://www.prlog.org/10387318-floating-blue-bins-help-to-reclaim-your-floor-space-and-drive-your-clutter-up-the-wall.html

  7. Brilliant! I came across your post last week and installed an eye-bolt this weekend. So far, so good. Since it’s a little tricky for me to get into, I’m confident the racoons will give up and move on to less complicated bin.
    Sadly, two neighbours have already commented on the lock, so my whole street might have them soon. 🙂
    Thanks so much, from East York.

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