I know my “change the world” posts aren’t all that popular but I hope this design turns a few heads. I’ve been thinking about this one for over a year, since four black bears were destroyed in my town for being habituated (they were relying on people’s garbage as a food source). That’s an extreme example, I also want be like Cyril Sneer and thwart those evil Raccoons.
My hopes for this design: No actual padlocks. This garbage can is easy-to-use and could be operated by one hand. This will also remain locked no matter how it is toppled over by an animal. And lastly, it can easily be used by garbage trucks.
There is a sliding yellow rod in the lid that will clamp the garbage can locked. To open the garbage can, pull out the rod, allowing the lid to be opened.
To help keep the rod in place the top of the can and lid is tilted back a bit (above left). For a garbage truck (with robot arm) to open the can, it just has to be elevated causing the rod to drop down thanks to gravity (above right).
The can is shaped like a baseball homeplate, so no matter how it is knocked forward it will rest on the locking pin, keeping the lid sealed. The green fin above the wheels also ensures the can does not rest on its side (below left).
The can could be knocked on its back (above right) but the pin would keep it locked.
For the purposes of this design: I made the yellow pin more visible to show how this works. For an actual garbage can, I would make the pin more enclosed and recessed, ensuring that only a human hand can reach in and grab it. I want to make this as difficult as possible for any animal to reach in and grab the handle with their jaw or paw.
Another note: the locking pin could be designed to automatically lock into place when the lid is dropped closed, I might add that feature in the future.