Most wild animals don’t naturally love invading trash, but loss of habitat has made certain animals more brazen about using our trash as a food supply. In the Sacramento area, some of the principal invaders of our dumpster enclosure gates are seagulls, raccoons, rats and opossums. Sometimes domestic dogs and cats can also be a problem.

There are a number of things you can do to keep these creatures out of your dumpster.


  1. Cover your dumpster. It seems elementary, but giving easy access to your dumpster’s contents is like handing out invitations. Make sure the lids work and fit; plastic lids are notoriously easy to open. Bungee cords can help secure them. Make sure your employees close them properly after putting trash into them.
  2. Keep the area around the dumpster clean. Trash bags should be securely sealed and tied before they are carried out so nothing spills around the dumpster.
  3. Keep the dumpster clean by spraying around it. Hose down the insides occasionally as well.
  4. You may need to relocate your dumpster away from a wall, building or tree, so that animals can’t climb up and gain access.
  5. Install a dumpster enclosure gate. Not all dumpster enclosures are the same, so look for those types that have little ground clearance that will help keep animals – and the occasional human
    dumpster diver –out. Of course, some animals can leap or climb, so you will still need to maintain securely sealed dumpster lids.