Retrofitting Bins with Latches

We are aware of many excellent efforts residents are making to protect our special community and its wildlife. One of the ideas that has been mentioned is adding latches of some kind to our existing bins. We reviewed this with the City to see if it could be a viable option and, unfortunately, with the bins we currently have, it is not. Specifically, the City says:

In short, it’s because the current bins are not strong enough to deter a bear.

Bear resistant carts are retrofitted/reinforced with metal or double-walled plastic in order to maintain the integrity of the cart in case pressure is applied while it is knocked over and to reduce the success of animals from chewing through key points. We’ve learned that the frequent chew point for bears is through the plastic that connects the lid to the body of the cart.

Potential locking mechanisms like bar locks across the lid require a reinforced lid – without that, any pressure applied to the lid causes the bar to pop off (as learned in Port Coquitlam).

Other retrofitted “locking” mechanisms include wires and carabiners and similar and while those may deter smaller wildlife, like racoons, feedback from bear experts has found that black bears quickly learn to insert their claws between the wire or anywhere they can get leverage and pull. Or just chew through the plastic.

Grizzly bears and black bears typically used different techniques for accessing garbage in carts, and bear resistant carts need to be designed to thwart both. Grizzly bears will often use brute force – cart testers call it the “CPR method” as the bears will bounce up and down the sides of the carts, waiting for the cart or lock to fail. Black bears don’t seem to rely on their strength as much and they’ll usually use their problem-solving skills to open carts, using their claws and teeth to pry open anywhere they can get into.”

The DRCA will continue to advocate for alternative wildlife-resistant green bins for Discovery Ridge.