March 4

Chris Quillian is right to complain about the defective design of the new D.C. supercans in preventing raccoons from raiding garbage [“Supercans vs. raccoons,” letters, March 3]. But there is a solution better than heavy rocks.

We have defeated Procyon ­lotor by looping elastic straps with a hook at each end over the lid, from the handle to the fixture for lifting the cans into the garbage trucks. Such straps, available at any hardware store, have to be removed on the day of collection, but this system works fine.

Mr. Quillian failed to note another defect of these expensive supercans; namely, the lack of holes in the bottom to allow drainage of water and other liquids, nasty stuff in summer. My electric drill took care of that problem.

Carlton Stoiber, Washington

Many years ago, when everyone had metal trash cans, raccoons were able to remove the lids and help themselves to whatever they wanted. My father solved the problem by electrifying our garbage cans. The raccoons received a mild shock, and we had one less thing to worry about.  

Christine Brooks, Vienna