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Wildlife expert: 'Without a doubt' green bin damage caused by squirrel

680 News

By News Staff | May 5, 2016 View this article as a PDF

Toronto city council is preparing for a backlash to its new, supposedly raccoon-proof green bin.

The problem isn’t the locks, according to many users on Twitter and Coun. Shelley Carroll: it’s the plastic.

Carroll spoke about the issue on Newstalk1010 on Thursday morning and also tweeted about it, saying that rats and squirrels can chew through the thinner plastic.

Carroll’s concern was shared by a resident, who posted a photo of her chewed-up bin on Twitter. Jim McKay, general manager of Toronto’s Solid Waste Management Services, they have not been able to confirm whether an animal or human act caused the damage.

However, a wildlife expert says this is definitely the work of a squirrel or a rat.

“In my 32 years of business I’ve seen an abundance of animal chewing… and I will say without a doubt that this damage was caused by a squirrel,” said Brad Gates of Gates Wildlife Control Toronto. “In fact I would be willing to stack my 32-year reputation on it.”

CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan was in Scarborough on Thursday looking for more chewed-up bins.

The manufacturer, Rehrig Pacific, said that some animals have been known to chew through sheet metal, so building a completely impenetrable bin is impossible.

McKay said there are a number of “home remedies” that can be applied to prevent animals, such as squirrels, from chewing containers. For example, spraying a little hot sauce on the lid will help to prevent chewing without harming the animal as animals don’t typically like the taste.”

Replacing all of Toronto’s green bins is expected to take 18 months and cost $31 million. The bins were first distributed in Scarborough in April.

Toronto joins Peel in changing their bins.

Back in April, a Mississauga resident told CityNews that he had evidence that the new bins aren’t impenetrable.

Eddie O’Toole said he’s had the new bin for three months, and in that time, raccoons have already gnawed through it. At the time, a representative for the company that designed Toronto’s bins said the Toronto ones would be thicker.

At the time, Rehrig Pacific spokesperson Dennis Monesiter also said that squirrels and rats are more likely to chew through the bins than raccoons.

Mayor John Tory tweeted about chewed-up bins on Wednesday night.

© 680 News 2016

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