Big Pine Key and No Name Key residents share their islands with wildlife that includes key deer, raccoons, wild birds, and other wildlife. As awe-inspiring as these visitors can be when they enter local yards, they can make huge messes if they get into your garbage.
Additionally, open trash cans can be dangerous for wildlife, allowing them to get tangled in packaging or to be poisoned if they eat things they shouldn't.
The natural key deer diet includes over 160 species of plants, such as black and red mangroves, thatch palm berries, and others. As development in the Keys has cut down natural space, the deer have resorted to foraging in residential and commercial areas, eating ornamental plants. Trash cans can be an attractive nuisance to them and to other area animals.
Trash cans with strong lids are a great deterrent for the many animals that reside on these remote Keys. This is why Monroe County sought funding to buy more than 100 lidded trash cans to distribute to area residents.
The cans will be available at an event on Saturday, February 26, 10 am to 12 noon at Big Pine Community Park on Atlantis Dr. Bring a driver's license or utility bill to show proof of residency. The lidded cans are available to residents of both Big Pine Key and No Name Key.
The project is sponsored by a number of community partners, including Monroe County, Solid Waste Management, FL, Waste Management, INC. of the Florida Keys, Newsbarometer, USFWS/National Key Deer Refuge, Florida Keys Wildlife Society, Save our Key Deer, Coastlove, Centennial Bank, and Little Palm Island.