Introduction: The Trash Protector (Raccoon Resistance!)

About: I am a combat robot builder, better known as Battlebots and work with 3D Printers and laser cutters.

Imagine: Every night, a bandit comes to your house, dressed in grey and black with a pack of friends. They know what they want and come to rob you silly. They are armed with a great sense of smell and sharp paws.

“Wait, did he just say paws??”

That’s right. This not so fantasy is the bane of many people’s existence everywhere. Raccoons stealing trash and (conveniently) make a mess is a commonly known nuisance. Against ALL ODDS, the trash can companies and trash collecting facilities have done NOTHING!! (A surprise but it is true :-D) Using the power of hot glue, a bungie cord, and a bolt with washers, this problem…SOLVED!


(any hardware store should carry all these items)

One Bungie cord

Hot Glue

An “I Bolt with 2 nuts and 2 washers that fit the same size as the bolt

Step 1: How It Works

This simple but effective tool that uses a bungie cord, connected to a bolt on the top, to make it so that a raccoon cannot lift the lid. Ever since putting this on my trashcan (then my recycling), I have had ZERO incidents with raccoons getting into my trash. Before it was almost a daily chore.

Step 2: A Bit of Sizing

Take your Bungie cord and lay it from the bar on the bottom of the trashcan and stretch the cord about 2 inches farther than it lays without pulling. Make a mark with sharpie to drill for later. This will make it too tight for animals to pull, but not straining your arm every time you take out the trash when you take it off. Why make taking out the trash more of a pain? :)

Step 3: Drilling the Hole

Remember that hole you just drilled?? Make sure your drill bit is the same size as the bolt that you drilled. If it is too big or too small, the bolt will not hold against the forces of nature.

Step 4: Putting in the Bolt

First, screw a nut onto the bolt.

Second, slide the washer on top of the nut.

Third, push the contraption with the bolt, nut, and washer into the hole in the trashcan.

Fourth, slide another washer onto the bottom of the bolt (sandwiching the trashcan between the washers) - This creates a stronger base.

Finally, screw the last nut onto the bottom of the bolt. Secure last nut on with wrench.

Step 5: Top It Off With Some Hot Glue

Why is hot glue needed? In my first build, it wasn't. But after rolling my trashcans down my driveway week after week again, the nut unscrewed itself. I realized hot glue would not only stop the nut from loosening, but also ensure the bolt would not bend. The picture showing bend in the bolt, is before the hot glue.

Tip: While loctite or a thread lock substance could work, I found the the hot glue would add the benefit of keeping the bolt standing straight up, so that the bungie cord could not be loose, in addition to keeping the nut in place.

Step 6: Results

If you try this, please let me know any results.

Happy Building!

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