To reduce trash, more stations will have garbage cans removed
The MTA is expanding a pilot program this weekend to cut down on trash in subway stations by removing garbage cans, amNewYork has learned.
The agency will take away all bins from eight stations -- two from each borough the subway system serves -- on Sunday, officials confirmed Wednesday. The Eighth Street N/R station and Flushing-Main Street No. 7 stop, which have been can-less since October, will remain so as the pilot extends for at least another six months.
"The whole goal was to reduce the number of trash bags that would have to be removed from the system, and that would help control the rodent population," MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Wednesday. "We've seen some pretty positive results over the last several months."
Ortiz said the number of garbage bags collected from the Main Street station has dropped by 67% without garbage cans, and there have been half as many bags taken from Eighth Street. Officials have also seen "noticeable" increases in cleanliness.
But Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said that even if taking away trash cans reduces the amount of garbage, "it's no way to treat your customers."
"If you're eating an ice cream cone with a wrapper, you can't put it in your bag," said Russianoff. "It may or may not result in a smaller amount of trash, but it definitely results in more inconvenience for the riders."
"It may work in some areas that are not well-traveled, but we have a well-traveled system," said Maurice Jenkins, vice president of Stations for the Transport Workers Union.
"In certain areas, instead of throwing stuff in the cans, people are going to throw it on the floor," he said.
MTA board member Andrew Albert said he was "surprised" about some of the stations being tested.
"In the case of Main Street, because it's a terminal, I guess you can take it out and put it in a city trash can," he said of riders' garbage. "The mid-way stations ... are a whole different ballgame."