How to Secure Outdoor Garbage Can

Outdoor garbage cans are usually prone to animal intrusion or blowing away during windy days. In either case, you will end up with scattered trash all over the place. Scattered trash is not only hazardous but it might also attract pest to your yard. Plus, you could be penalized for scattering trash in public spaces.

In this guide I’ll show you how to secure outdoor garbage can against animal intrusion or blowing away.

Related: Best Bear Proof Garbage Cans

Why you Need to Secure your Outdoor Garbage Bin

Waste management policies require you to keep your outdoor waste secure until the collection day. So, you might be subjected to penalties whenever your outdoor trash gets spilled out by wild animals or strong winds.

As it appears, there’re good reasons to secure your outdoor garbage can against strong winds and animal intrusion.

Here are 4 reasons why you need to keep your outdoor garbage bin secure all the time.

1. To Avoid Toppling, Crashing, Chewing by Animals

The smell from the rotting trash tend to attract wild animals such as bears, coyotes, raccoon, squirrels, rats, ravens among others. If you live in a neighborhood that is frequented by wild animals, then your outdoor garbage cans are not secure at all.

Large animals like bears can easily crash the garbage can and scatter the trash all the driveway or patio. Plastic garbage bins also easily chewed through by coyotes, raccoons, squirrels and bears.

To avoid toppling, crashing or chewing by wild animals, it’s advisable to keep your garbage can in a secure enclosure.

2. Trash Does Not Blow Away

During windy or stormy weather, your outdoor garbage bin might be blown out of place and spill out the trash. So, there’s need to secure your outdoor garbage bins to avoid such incidences.

3. To Avoid Penalties

If your trash is spilled by either animals or wind, it makes the neighborhoods untidy and attractive to pests. To avoid penalties from home owners associations (HOAs), it’s advisable to keep your outdoor garbage bin secure.

Most home owners associations (HOAs) require that you hide outdoor garbage bins away from public view.

4. Keeps the Neighborhood Tidy and Non-Hazardous

If your outdoor garbage bin gets toppled or blows away, you will end with scattered trash all over the compound. Not only does this make the compound untidy but it also makes the neighborhood attractive to pests.

If there’re sharp objects or broken bottles in the trash, they could cause injuries.

5. Prevents Unwanted Usage

Ill-behaved neighbors might stuff your unsecured outdoor garbage can with trash when theirs becomes full. If your outdoor garbage can is being filled by neighbors or passersby, then it’s advisable to keep it locked.

6 Ways to Secure Outdoor Garbage Cans

Outdoor garbage cans are supposed to secure your trash from spillage or scattering by wild animals or strong winds. However, not all outdoor garbage bins can withstand strong winds and animal intrusion.

While strong winds are seasonal, bears, raccoons, coyotes and rodents might prove troublesome throughout the year.

If you trash keeps getting spilled by animals or strong winds, then here’re some helpful tips to keep it secure.

Use Locking Lid Garbage Can

Having a locking lid garbage can is one of the best ways to keep your trash secure. If your current garbage can isn’t fitted with a locking lid, you may consider buying one that has a built-in lock.

If you’re looking for the best outdoor trash can with locking lid, consider the Bearicuda bear proof garbage cans. They’re built to withstand breaking and prevent opening by bears, coyotes, raccoons and other animals.

They’re fitted with gravity-release lock mechanism which allows them to be emptied by automatic garbage handling trucks. Such locks do not open when the garbage can is toppled by animals.

Garbage Bin Locks

Some outdoor garbage cans are not fitted with locking lids to secure trash from strong winds or pests. In such a case, you can modify them with bin locks to make them more secure. Before adding bin locks, confirm whether your garbage service provider accepts such modifications.

Where the service provider doesn’t service modified garbage cans, ask them to recommend a more secure locking lid garbage can.

If they service modified garbage cans, you can use any of these methods to keep your trash secure:

  • Utility strap with buckle. This is intended to tie-down the garbage can lid to prevent opening by wind or animals. It’s effective against small pests like coyotes, raccoons, rodents and pets.
  • Bungee cords. Just like utility straps, bungee cord aid in tying down the garbage bin lid to keep the trash secure. Bungee cords work together with D-rings.
  • Lock and key. A lock and key becomes necessary whenever your garbage bin is prone to unwanted filling by passersby or ill-behaved neighbors. This also prevents opening by animals or strong winds.
  • Hasp and staple. A hasp and staple provides a means for locking the lid with a padlock. All you need to do is to install the hasp and staple in place using screws and a power drill. It’s also advisable to reinforce the lid with steel hinges.

Buy a Garbage Can Storage Shed

To shield your outdoor garbage can from strong winds, pests and pets, you can buy a ready to install storage shed. Garbage can storage sheds are available in different sizes, designs, colors and materials.

You can also use your storage shed to store gardening tools, lawn mower, bicycle among other items. The best garbage can storage shed should have doors on top and front side.

The top door allows the garbage can lid to open properly when you’re tossing trash in the bin. The front doors allow you to remove the garbage can from the storage shed during the collection day.

DIY Garbage Can Enclosure

Alternatively, you can construct a DIY garbage can enclosure using wood. With such an enclosure, you can protect your outdoor garbage cans from animal intrusion and strong winds. Plus it makes the neighborhood attractive by hiding outdoor garbage cans from public view.

Scare Devices or Repellents

Scare devices or repellents provide an effective way of keeping wild animals and pets away from your outdoor garbage cans. These include:

  • Ultrasonic animal repellent
  • Chemical based animal repellents
  • Home-based animal repellents
  • Motion activated animal deterrents

Keep Garbage Cans in the Garage

Perhaps the best way to secure your outdoor garbage cans is to keep them in the garage. In fact, some Home Owners Associations require you to hide your garbage cans in the garage or enclosures.

  • This is intended to keep neighbourhood neat and protect the garbage cans from animal intrusion and strong winds.
  • Keeping your garbage cans in the garage is however associated with smells especially during summer. So, the items or equipment stored in the garage might end up with awful smell from the rotting trash.
  • However, you can reduce garbage smell from the garage by sticking to same basic best practices. These include:
  • Improving ventilation in the garage.
  • Use odor sealing trash cans
  • Put trash in heavy-duty bags
  • Use garbage bin deodorizer

How to Bear Proof Your Garbage Can

If you live in a neighborhood that is frequented by bears, then your outdoor garbage cans are far from being safe. Bears are so clever they have been recorded opening garage doors to access garbage cans hidden there.

In addition, bears are capable of breaking into most outdoor garbage cans available in the market. While some of the best bear proof garbage cans might withstand bear intrusion, they often end up with significant damage.


If your outdoor garbage can gets opened by animals or strong wind, you’ll definitely end up with scattered trash. You can implement some of the above measures to secure your outdoor garbage can against strong winds or animal intrusion.

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