Another reason to animal-proof your garbage cans

Of course you want to animal-proof your garbage — no one wants to see a mess when they walk out their front door first thing in the morning. But there’s another reason to  keep local wildlife out of your trash — the animal’s own safety.

While rummaging through your garbage an animal can risk any number of injuries:

  • Racoon in garbageAn animal can experience a fatal blockage if he swallows packaging material while attempting to eat the residue off of it.
  • An animal’s head can get stuck inside certain plastic and glass containers causing suffocation or overheating.  In particular, certain yogurt containers that are narrower at the top and wider at the bottom are especially dangerous for animals.
  • Six-pack beverage rings can get stuck around an animal’s nose, mouth and neck, blocking off her means of breathing, eating, drinking and self defense
  • Broken glass and sharp edges on cans can cut an animal’s paws and mouth as he attempts to eat food residue off of them.

To help keep animals safe and your garbage secure, try these suggestions:

  • Rinse all of your recyclables to remove residue and odors.
  • Put lids back on containers tightly. If the lids have been misplaced, crush the containers.
  • Use a can opener that opens cans beneath the lip of the lids, leaving only smooth edges on the cans and lids.  Make sure to completely separate lids from cans.
  • Cut up all six-pack beverage holders and other similar packaging so that there are no closed rings.
  • Recycle all plastic bags at your local grocery store. Don’t put plastic bags in the trash.
  • Cut fishing line up into small pieces or tie it into a secure bundle so that it cannot be unwound.
  • Switch to brands that have less packaging and buy food in bulk to avoid creating excess trash.
  • Spread the word!  Teach your kids, friends, and family to do the same!

Finally, use critter-proof trash containers. Visit our home page to find one that’s right for you!