Imagine this scenario. After dinner one evening, you carry a big Hefty bag full of trash, including a few watermelon rinds and other assorted food scraps, out to your bin. You toss it in, shut the lid, then head back inside. You assume you’ll never see any of that trash again, but the next morning you wake up to find those watermelon rinds and food particles strewn across your backyard… a major mess to clean up, and a major headache.
There’s really only one possible explanation: You’ve had a racoon or even an opossum invading your bin.
Of course,these aren’t the only critters that can invade your waste disposal area, leaving a mess or simply making for less-than-desirable conditions. Worst case scenario: You get visited by bears, who overturn your bin and probably give you a good scare, in the process. And even if you don’t live in an area where big, wild mammals are common, there is always some risk of invading mice, nesting wasps, or hovering flies.
Nobody wants to deal with the annoyance of an overturned or infested can, and thankfully,there are a few strategies you can employ to keep your bins critter-free.
1) Opt for Thick, Tear-Resistant Trash Bags
If you cheap out on the flimsiest possible trash bags, you might as well be offering animals a written invitation to tear the thing open and help themselves to a snack. Create a barrier between critters and your food waste, always opting for heavy-duty bags.
2) Wash Out Food Containers
It’s all too easy to toss out bottles, cans, and jars that still have food residue along the interiors, or to discard spent sodas that still have a little sugary goodness dripping out. Be sure to wash out the inside of all food and beverage containers before you throw them into your recycling bin.
3) Consider Enclosures
Another way to keep critters away is to fortify your bins with enclosures, either store bought ones or enclosures you make yourself from wood or metal. If that’s a little much for you, consider just strapping your bins to a tree, pole, or the side of the house, making it so that animals can’t tip them over.
4) Keep Your Cans in Good Condition
Even a small hole in the lid of your trash bin can be an open invitation to pests. You can usually patch things up nicely with thick, heavy tape, or else request a new bin altogether from your waste management provider.
5) Secure Your Lids
Of course, one of the smartest steps you can take is to make sure your lids are unopenable, whether by using bungee cords to tie them down or even by weighing them down with a brick. This can be a slight inconvenience when you go to discard your rubbish, but it certainly reduces your risk of animal invasion.
6) Talk with your waste management company.
Depending on where you live, your local garbage hauler may offer special containers that are critter- or even bear-proof. It may be worth discussing different options with your waste management provider, especially if you have persistent animal issues.
7) Keep Bins Away from Your House
A final note: Even with the most fool proof strategies, there’s always some risk of flies, gnats, bees, and other insects. You naturally want to keep these disease-carrying bugs away from your family, so there’s wisdom in keeping your bins away from the interior of your home, or from entrances and exits.
Nobody wants critter infestation in the waste disposal area, and thankfully, there are some simple steps you can take to keep wild animals at bay. With any further questions about effective trash and recycling management, don’t hesitate to contact the WasteXperts team!