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July 15, 2006

The bigger lid problem

Found out tonight that I'm worried about the 'coons, now that we've all got new garbage cans.

Was out on the patio, having a smoke, when four of them -- two adults and two teenage-size -- sauntered up the terrace before stopping when the spotted me. Passing the garbage can on the way in, I realized they'd be disappointed. I'm thinking they're gonna have trouble opening the heavier, hinged lid on the new one.

If that's so, and all over town, lean days are ahead for our 'coon buddies.

I've never minded when they stop on their regular rounds. They're neat, they don't dump the cans; just pop the lid and take exactly what they want, never leaving more of a mess than the occasional chewed-up bread sack or a few stale-bagel crumbs.

But what now, now that the cafeterias are closed? I suppose hunger may spur some 'coons to solve the bigger lid problem. Be interesting to see.

Posted by jcb at July 15, 2006 12:28 AM


Very interesting question indeed. It should be interesting to watch and see.

The official word is that the new cans, having a fairly large "footprint" or area contacting the ground, are difficult to tip.

I've seen at least one tipped over with some of the contents strewn around, though I don't know if Rocky and pals were the culprits. (they do wear masks so we can't ID them, after all.)

But necessity (or in this case, hunger) is the mother of invention, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the coon's learning curve catch up with the designers of the cans in the not too distant future.

Posted by: TID at July 15, 2006 01:46 AM

Never underestimate a raccoon. They are one of nature’s brightest animals when creativity is needed. Heck, I bet they could even open a childproofed capped medicine bottle if they wanted.

Posted by: NMP at July 15, 2006 02:42 AM

I'm concerned that we are "dumbing down" our raccoons. Before we standardized the garbage cans, there were many kinds that the raccoons had to learn to open. Now there is just one!

If any of these new cans is tipped over, it must be a dog. As John says, raccoons are tidy about their scavenging as a rule. They get the cat food cans really clean!

Posted by: Vita at July 17, 2006 10:33 AM