News

MTA Canning Trash Bins At Some Subway Stations

Immediate And Swift Response From Commuters: Are You Kidding Me?
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Main Street Station in Flushing - Queens, NY - Oct 25, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

Main Street Station in Flushing – Queens, NY – Oct 25, 2011 (credit: Mike Xirinachs / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – What’s a trash-toting subway commuter to do without a garbage can?

That’s what straphangers at two city subway stations are facing under the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new experimental cleanliness program.

The traditional approach to waste management involves a garbage bin and the expectation that someone will use it.

WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs With Rider Reaction

But many of the city’s subway stations are a mess.

So two weeks ago, the MTA rolled out a new counter-intuitive pilot program at two stations – one at the Main Street station on the No. 7 line in Queens and the other in Greenwich Village at Broadway and Eighth Street.

It involves removing every waste receptacle.

But many commuters aren’t on board with the plan.

“I definitely wouldn’t litter but it would be a real inconvenience,” John Lee said.

“If you come a little bit later during the day, you’ll see all kinds of paper cups and fruit stuff all over the bench over there,” Fred Schonfeld of Manhattan told CBS 2′s Jay Dow.

“You can’t break New Yorkers of habits that they’re into. If they’re pigs, they’re pigs. If they’re clean, they’re clean,” one native New Yorker told WCBS 880 reporter Mike Xirinachs.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria finds out what commuters think of the plan

One subway rider, who identified herself as Crystal, told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria there’s only two things commuters will do with their trash: either dump it on the tracks or leave it on the platform.

“They need to hire more people to pick up the garbage,” Crystal said.

The MTA clears about 90 tons of trash from the system’s 468 subway stations every day.

The idea behind the experiment is simple: Fewer garbage bins means fewer garbage bag pickups for sanitation crews. The agency hopes the plan will encourage commuters to hold onto their empty coffee cups.

However, even with trash cans in sight, the tracks and platforms appear to be a convenient option for commuters who are determined to get rid of their trash one way or another.

“I think it’s inconsiderate but if they take the bins away then there’s not really an alternative,” Kate Shearer said.

The MTA intends to spend the next two months evaluating the effectiveness of the garbage bin-less station and will then decide whether to expand the program.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Port Authority removed garbage bins and banned food and drink from Path trains and stations. The agency said it resulted in cleaner platforms.

Earlier this year, the MTA nixed the idea of banning food and drink in the subway.

What do you think of the idea? Sound off below in our comments section…

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