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Survey Says Commuters Aren’t Happy With MTA Subway Trash Can Removal

Subway Trash Sign

A survey by a New York City Councilwoman said commuters were not happy with the removal of trash cans in subway stations. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been taking out the garbage cans in New York City subway stations, and a new survey has suggested commuters want the program scrapped.

As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reports, some commuters said Saturday they were frustrated by the MTA pilot program that aims to rid the subway of trash by taking the trash cans away.

“I don’t think it makes sense, and I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” commuter Elena Quattrone said.

The MTA launched the program back in February, removing trash cans from two stations. The agency later expanded the program to eight more stations, after saying the absence of trash cans made the stations cleaner.

But Manhattan Councilwoman Jessica Lappin (D-5th) said a survey she conducted shows that more than 500 New Yorkers do not agree with the claims from the MTA.

“Over 60 percent of people said that they noticed more trash, and 93 percent of people thought it was a bad idea to take the cans out of the stations,” Lappin said.

The idea is that if there were nowhere to dump trash, the MTA hoped commuters would carry it with them. The effort was intended to cut down on the 14,000 tons of trash the agency collects annually –trash that lingers and attracts rats.

But Quattrone said asking commuters to carry their trash with them until they exit the subway is not realistic.

“People aren’t going to hold it,” she said, “especially on your average day, especially a work week, you have how many bags are you holding?”

At the F line stop at 57th Street, the garbage cans have been removed. On Saturday night, there was little trash on the platform either, except for a few items scattered around.

But the tracks were a virtual garbage dump. And Lappin said trash on the tracks is hard to get to, and not likely to be cleaned up.

In response, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said in a statement: “These stations will be closely monitored, and the results analyzed, to determine where removing trash cans works best, and whether to continue the program in the future.”

At least one commuter acknowledged Saturday that there is truth to the reasoning by the MTA.

“I would hold onto it if there were no trash cans,” she said.

But another commuter annotated a paper sign posted by the MTA explaining the program. “Trash w/o trash cans – bad idea!” the commuter wrote.

The stations now without trash cans are:

Bronx

  • 238th Street 1 station
  • East 143rd Street 6 station

Manhattan

  • 8th Street N-R station
  • 57th Street F station
  • Rector Street 1 station

Brooklyn

  • 7th Avenue FG station
  • Brighton Beach Q station

Queens

  • Flushing-Main Street 7 station
  • 111th Street A station
  • 65th Street MR station
  • Do you think removing the trash cans in subway stations was a good idea? Share your thoughts below…