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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I know there are many HoL fox discussion threads, but In a quick look I haven't found anything about this problem, so any help gratefully received...

The local foxes are regularly opening up the kitchen food waste bin that sits in the front garden and strewing the contents across the path and garden, even if the handle's in the locked position. Has anyone got ideas for making the bin more secure (but still Veolia-friendly)? It's messy enough as it is, and I don't want any other passing creatures seeing this as a takeaway outlet.

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We have certainly had our green box overturned by a fox and, after it was secured against this, had the lid opened by a fox.  If we got a new box with a lid that locked, perhaps we could do without the heavy concrete brick.  We keep the green box in the back garden because we empty it into our own compost bins.

Here is ours:

From our own experience, and talking to neighbours, it seems the old style bins (like in Dick's pic, but with the handle lock obvs) work more or less OK. The foxes have worked out how to roll and open the shorter, more rounded bins which are newer, but worse-erer.

A bungee strap seems the most common solution and is certainly more effective than a brick, which falls off when rolled over. Good luck

Thanks to both for the advice and suggestions. Yes, I thought about a bungee strap, though my faith in Veolia makes me think it might not last long if it's just chucked on the ground after bin-emptying (such a cynic...). Our bin's the newer version – ironically just replaced by Haringey as the old-style one was nicked a few weeks ago – and currently there's a heavy stone on top but a brick would probably be better, so may try that. Since I posted earlier, I've found lockable bins that I hadn't previously known about, and perhaps that's the right solution.

I've noticed the evolution of the species to be able to gain entry to these bins designed exactly with them in mind.  During the week I keep the bin elevated--on top of the old larger green bin which I now keep garden hoses in. The foxes don't go after the newer green bin when elevated per my experience.

On collection day though I have to put the bin near the pavement and the foxes appear without fail. (I have video footage of them dragging the bin and getting access.)  I have had decent success with using a small strip of duct tape to fasten the lid to the body of the bin.  The garbagemen just rip it in two or lift it.

Not sure I want to have to renew tape every week, but it's certainly an idea. Think I'll try the lockable bin first and see if the foxes have developed the skill to open it (cf parakeets opening the lids of wheelie bins in Australia, though admittedly they're not locked). Nature is wonderful.

I don't put any meat in my bins generally but on the odd occasion that I do because someone else in the house has eaten it, they break in. So I leave the bones as offerings to the fox gods in the garden rather than then put them in the bin. They always disappear and my bin remains intact.

I realise that most people aren't vegetarian and probably have meat more than once a month so my solution isn't practical but it's the flesh and particularly the bones they are after and they are highly motivated to try and get it, especially at this time of year with hungry babies to feed. Their sense of smell is extraordinary and they are incredibly adept with their front paws. Foxes will store food in the dens so will make multiple raids on "good targets" that they learn has the right food for them. 

I had to stop having eggs delivered to my house by the milkman because they had them as soon as they were delivered. The milkman reckoned they recognised the sound of him! They have even bitten then knocked over the bottles to lap at the milk. I can't help (I would say this wouldn't I?) but admire their endless adaptation to us humans, even though it's cost me a few bottles of milk and cartons of eggs. 

We've tried bungee cords (fox chewed through it), brick(s) on the top (fox knocked it over) and wedging between the other wheelie bins (best option to date but still not great).

Main solution has been to not put meat/bones in it which defeats the purpose somewhat. I've seen some people have built up wooden frames to put them in and stop them being overturned but that seems a bit of overkill.

I've not tried this but I wonder if masking the smell of the meat would work. They don't like smells like Olbas Oil so could a few drops sprinkled around the bin work? Just a thought

Olbas oil could be a great idea. There are lots of anti-fox sprays and liquids available online, and most seem to major on chilli or garlic, so maybe they’re an option; or just upping use of pungent ingedients in cooking (and any leftovers) could be helpful! Currently, a large stone on top of the bin and wedging it between the wheelie bins seems to be defeating the animals; I’m sure it’s a seasonal problem, with new cubs to feed — and more on the way, judging by the raucous mating that woke me up two nights ago…

We've had this issue too with foxes getting into our food bin. Made sure it was properly secured overnight when we left it out for collection this morning – so of course Veolia didn't empty it… Turning the handle to the unlocked position was clearly too much effort!

Yes, Veolia’s ability to find numerous excuses not to empty a bin is what slightly perturbs me about the idea of getting a properly lockable bin (the kind with a sprung catch) rather than the locking handle on the standard bins, so I think we’ll keep going for now with the stone/wedged bin idea and see how it goes, maybe with a sprinkle of garlic powder or Olbas. The bin contents thrown on the path recently included carrots and other veg remains, but I expect it was the chicken bones that were the main attraction. Omniverous little blighters.

Personally, I put bones in my black bin (because they would otherwise end up in my compost where they don't break down). Foxes have nevertheless dragged out plenty of other stuff such as hard pears, bits of bread, citrus skins and compostable plastic wrappers.  No doubt they are seeking something that smells attractive to them but their diet seems to be pretty broad.  Foxes also drag all manner of stuff into the garden from wherever they find it.  Often it's fast food wrappers, bits of dead water fowl, tennis balls, gardening gloves, the occasional dead rat (but I suppose this could be cats) or large fish and once even a dead snake.

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