Street Use

Rat-proof Trash Baskets

On the island of Cozumel, the scuba divers haven near Cancun, Mexico, local residents have devised a trash basket that hovers above ground. I think this design does two things> 1) It raises the garbage above rat height, although they may still be able to get up the slippery pole (rats are amazing). But it must decrease the ease, and keep some of it out of reach. 2) It makes it easy to spot recycleables, like cans and bottles, or even other junk someone else might want.



Posted on January 12, 2007 at 5:51 pm | comments

  • rose

    I also think that this kind of garbage collector, which I’ve seen in many countries, might serve as a safer way to burn the trash, as well as keep garbage off of the ground.

  • Jeff Stern

    This is not the only country to use these. I lived in Nicaragua and they were in all the residential neighborhoods, only square.

  • After living in and traveling around Yucatan many years, we’ve not seen any rats. Too many stray dogs and cats, we suspect. Also, dogs make pretty short work of anything edible in these trash cans.

    There are two more likely reasons for this design:

    1. The inventor was a cousin of someone in the municipal government, or

    2. Heavy rains with frequent flooding (especially on Cozumel)

    By the way, just because a particular technological innovation doesn’t consume energy or require software development, that doesn’t make it “crude”.

  • Jon Gallagher

    It may be rats in Cozumel, but I first saw similar street trash containers in Chihuahua. I was told it kept the trash from attracting the packs of wild dogs that roamed the suburban area I was staying. This was circa 1996.

    That, my brother’s wedding, the bus trip down and the broken glass embedded in cement on the tops of concrete walls surrounding family haciendas are indelible memories of the trip.

  • Drew

    We used to see these in Argentina, they were rectangular with a pair of hooks on the underside to hang non-food trash. I was told these were made to keep the stray dogs out of the trash.