Nov 18

New York trashes pilot program that removed garbage bins from subway stations

New York has ended a test program aimed at reducing litter in its subway stations by removing garbage bins from stations after it was found the move led to even more litter, local media reported this week.

The idea was that people would take garbage with them and throw it away some place else.


The program was started in 2011 with the removal of trash bins at two stations and expanded to 39 stations in 2014. It was ended last year, CBS New York TV quoted a State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokeswoman as saying.

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An audit from the Office of the New York State Comptroller found there was an increase in litter and fires on subway tracks after the program was put in place, the TV station said.

“The notion that you’re going to be more efficient by taking away the trash cans, so therefore you won’t generate so many bags of trash to haul away — like the trash was going to magically disappear — I think that probably wasn’t the smartest judgment,” it quoted State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli as saying.

The annual ridership for the subway system, which has 469 stations, is about 1.76 billion people, according to MTA data.

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Officials from the MTA, Office of the New York State Comptroller and New York City Department of Sanitation were not immediately available for comment due to their offices being closed on the weekend.

“We found that there were also better ways that we could remove trash off the tracks and keep trash from making its way onto the tracks,” MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco told the TV station.