Rocky the raccoon, pictured at right foraging for scraps in a Medford neighborhood, says city officials did not reach out to the raccoon community before implementing the new trash and recycling program.
– Kate Adams
Medford’s new garbage system may have received mixed reviews from area residents, but the new cans have created new woes for the area’s many raccoons.
“It’s a difficult time,” said Rocky, found at his home in the hole in the tree on Grace Road. “We thought we had it down – find the tipping point, gnaw through the bungee cord and it’s dinner time! Now we will just have to work smarter I guess.”
“I’m worried about the kids,” said Ramona, who lives in the Lawrence Woods. “Winter is coming and I just spent the summer teaching them how to defeat the most fortified of Rubbermaid roughnecks and now this. It just doesn’t seem fair.”
While the new cans lack locking lids, they are proving difficult to open or pry into, say area raccoons. They are too deep for a traditional dumpster dive, and also difficult to tip due to their height and girth.
Even chewing in, a common back up plan with standard cans, is a daunting task not worth the work.
But raccoon leaders say they are working on it, and it is only a matter of time. According to Rocky, “The cans are all the same. That’s a good thing. Once we get one, we can get them all.”
But others within the raccoon community, who declined to be named, expressed grave concerns about how the most obvious solutions to the new can problem could affect their community.
Said one South Medford resident, “We’re Raccoons! Solitary, rugged individualists! If it takes five of us to dump a can over, it threatens our way of life!”
Medford’s new trash and recycling containers will start being used by residents on Monday, November 1.