Mayor John Tory says the city is leaving “no stone unturned” in its fight against “raccoon nation.”

Tory made the comment to reporters at city hall on Thursday as he unveiled a new raccoon-resistant green bin that he says will keep the pesky critters from feasting on the trash of city residents.

The awarding of a 10-year $31 million contract for the production of the bins by a Los Angeles-based company still has to be approved by city council later this month.

The 100-litre bins will replace a 46.5-litre model that was rolled out between 2002 and 2005 and is now approaching the end of its life span.

“We are ready, we are armed and we are motivated to show that we cannot be defeated by these critters," Tory said. “This isn’t a game and if it is it’s a serious game. I think people are with us on this one in wanting to make sure we do a better job of not only taking away their organic waste but also making sure we defeat raccoon nation.”

Bins were subjected to extensive testing

The bins were chosen by a selection committee following a comprehensive evaluation process that included a field test designed by an animal behavioural specialist.

As a way to convey the effectiveness of the bins, a surveillance camera video showing the struggles of multiple raccoons as they try to pry the lid open was released by the city on Thursday.

In the two-minute video, the raccoons scale the bin and eventually knock it over but are unable to open the lid. The same video shows raccoons easily opening the previous green bin and chowing down on the waste inside.

Speaking with reporters, Tory noted that the new bins possess a mechanism that will allow them to be unlocked when lifted at a 110 degree angle, so automated garbage trucks can easily dump their contents.

Meanwhile, the twist lock on the lid of the bin should keep raccoons out, Tory said.

“If raccoons can figure out a way to actually lift it up at a 110 degree angle and carry it we will have a problem in this war but we can only take one measure at a time,” he said.

Companies take issue with bid process

While Tory and other city officials praised the new green bins on Thursday, representatives from one Quebec-based company cried foul over the bid process and asked for it to be reopened.

In an appearance before the public works committee, President and CEO of IPL Paul Richardson said his company bid on the green bid contract in 2013 and was “implicitly” given the green light on its design only for the city to change its parameters later.

“We had met with the city, they had asked us to make certain alterations on the cart, we had done that and at that time the bid was cancelled because the city didn’t have sufficient funds,” Richardson told CP24 during a break in the meeting. “The only way they would know that they didn’t have sufficient funds would have been to open the second envelope to see how much we charged. Implicitly, we technically passed.”

The public works committeemet in-camera as they discussed the complaints from IPL but eventually decided to approve the deal with Rehrig Pacific Company.

Earlier on Thursday, Public Works Chair Jaye Robinson defended the process.

“Staff had a job to do and that was to look for a company that could deliver on the technical manufacturing piece but also at a lower price and if you look at those two things blended this way the winning bed,” she told CP24.

Bins also include larger wheels, external handles

Prior to launching the selection process for the new bin, the city conducted a survey which revealed that the majority of residents see animal resistance as the most important feature of any green bin — 67 per cent said it was extremely important. The survey also determined that 42 per cent of residents report having their bin knocked over by animals frequently.

“The raccoons have adapted quite well to city life and they do so seem to be ingenious at getting into the various receptacles we provide, so the city went out to find a solution,” Tory said.

In addition to the locking lid and latch, the bins include larger wheels for easier mobility and an external handle that allows residents to open the lid single handed, the staff report said.

City officials say the bins will be distributed beginning in late 2015 or early 2016 and will take about 18 months to be delivered city-wide.

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