Nautilus

The Intelligent Life of the City Raccoon

Toronto resident Simon Treadwell wheeled a garbage bin onto a snow-bound lot next to his property one evening this past winter. Inside the bin was a smelly mixture of wet and dry cat food, sardines, and fried chicken. Treadwell sprinkled some of the mix on and around the bin, made sure his three motion-activated night vision cameras were on, and went back into his house.

Treadwell was testing a new lid latch he had devised in response to the city of Toronto’s request for proposals: The city needed help keeping raccoons out of people’s garbage. For over a decade, residents had been asked to place organic compostable materials such as vegetables, meat, bones, and even paper towels into green bins

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