Monday, December 03, 2007

What's all this litter around the trash I set out so neatly?!

The night before your collection day, you set your trash neatly at the curb to await collection. The next morning, or when you return home at the end of the next day... Ay! There are bits and pieces of your trash strewn all around! What happened?!

Many times, the culprits are... crows! One of my field colleagues reported to me that "the crows are back and making a lot of 'litter before collection'."

What's the solution?

"Containerizing" -- our term for using a rigid container with a tight-fitting lid -- your trash makes it a much greater challenge for crows to reach. And, this also helps keep out raccoons and other critters fond of "dumpster diving" in residential trash. Here are our requirements for trash containers.

Above all, please resist the temptation to simply set out your trash bags without a rigid plastic or metal container around them. It's awfully easy for an inquisitive beak or paw to tear holes into them, and then to start exploring the bags' contents...

One resource for learning more about living with crows is this Urban Crow Fact Sheet, published by the Humane Society of the United States.