Saturday, September 19th 2020, 5:16 pm - Unwashed, open recycling and garbage items not only attract wildlife, but can also cause physical harm or lead to a dependency on the discarded food waste for survival.
This is not an uncommon story: An animal detects food nearby and then becomes entangled with a piece of garbage while attempting to locate the source of nourishment.
That's exactly what happened to this particularly unlucky skunk recently. It found itself in a sticky situation when it got its head stuck in a soda can full of bacon grease drippings. Resident Steve Taylor found the trapped animal, with the aid of a neighbour in pest control, was able to safely free the creature without being sprayed or injuring the skunk.
Unwashed, open recycling and garbage items not only attract wildlife, but can also cause physical harm or lead to a dependency on the discarded food waste for survival.
There are a number of things to do to avoid wildfire becoming entangled in garbage. Photo: Steve Taylor.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
The story serves as a reminder to always properly store your garbage. Below are just a few things you can do to help protect wildlife.
- Thoroughly rinse out food containers before disposing of them
- Freeze food scraps until garbage day to avoid or reduce smells
- Keep garbage bins indoors, store them in a closed shed or garage or build a wooden lock-box with a padlock to hold the cans until your scheduled pickup day
- Wait until the morning of garbage pickup to put out your bins, thus preventing nocturnal creatures from getting into them
As well, Arrowaste has a few suggestions to keep animals from crawling through your garbage.
- Leaving out a bright light or installing a motion-sensor light near your trash cans outside can help deter all but the bravest of backyard animals.
- Some people recommend lightly spraying smelly substances like diluted bleach, Windex or ammonia on your trash can or in the bags to deter food-seeking animals with their sensitive noses
- This wastes some bags and plastic, but double-bagging especially strong-smelling bags of garbage can help contain the smell and avoid attracting all the neighbourhood scavengers.
- Buy a metal garbage can instead of plastic, which readily absorbs and holds stinky garbage smells that appeal to animals.
Thumbnail courtesy of Steve Taylor.