Immediate And Swift Response From Commuters: Are You Kidding Me?

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…

Comments (41)
  1. ro beast says:

    im a MTA track worker, im loving the comments guys! its so heart warming to see the riding public attempt to embrace an idea (a dumb idea) that might help keep your subways cleaner. i mean, with comments like “i WILL REDOUBLE MY EFFORTS TO THROW TRASH AROUND THE SUBWAY” & “Looks like I’ll just have to throw what ever I have to throw into the rails”, how could this possibly fail? i look forward to the huge piles of garbage you guys leave for me to pick up, ill make sure your train sits in that tunnel right where you can see it until every piece of trash is picked up. 🙂

  2. jim says:

    i WILL REDOUBLE MY EFFORTS TO THROW TRASH AROUND THE SUBWAY. I am sick of the insane shakedown that is subway travel.

  3. p8nt says:

    Looks like I’ll just have to throw what ever I have to throw into the rails. So does this mean, they’re going to fire all the useless people who are suppose to be cleaning the subways?? Not like they do anything at all anyway. Look at how the subway stations are now, they’re all filthy and smelly.
    Using the subway in other parts of the country feels like walking into Grand Central Station, and using NYC subway feels like I’m going to a junk yard.

  4. Kris says:

    So it worked in the PATH stations, but not in the subway. Just goes to show that New Yorkers are filthy pigs.

  5. MH says:

    The rats will have a field day. The stations are a mess right now. Who was the moron that thought this up?

    1. setanta says:

      typical stupidity of nyc—there’s too much garbage so get rid of the garbage cans–unreal. Why don’t they start issuing the summons for littering and spitting ?

  6. Panthers says:

    What a bunch of boneheads at MTA. The subway system is already filthy the way it is with all the trash bins.

  7. Ryan C. says:

    We have a lot more to worry about on the streets of NYC than this. Read about here:

  8. Ksen says:

    They should really re-evaluate. People throw their trash on the track and on the ground where there are no bins in sight. Currently, more often than not, the bins are overflowing and there are not enough of them as is. You rarely can find one when you need one. If they think people will carry their trash with this new plan, they are greatly mistaken. The only thing this will acomplish is messier stations, more delayes from trash pile up on tracks and more track fires. It would really be funny if someone staged a protest where everyone leaves a piece of trash on those 2 stations for a day (or two). I bet that would get their attention.

  9. nygrump says:

    is it aprils fool day?

  10. Johnny Handsome says:

    So instead of having trash in one organized place to pick up, it’s going to be all over the platform now. Great.

  11. Jay says:

    I wonder what genius exec got a $100,000 raise for such a stupid idea.
    You could’ve paid me $10 to come up with this idiotic idea.

    it’s really scary to think these people are in power of authority.
    God help us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. james says:

    all mta is doing is openning a new can of worms. if people wasn’t putting their tras in the bins when they were there. what do you think they are going to do in their absence. I for one will not ride from downtown to the bronx with trash. so the cta’s are going to be very busy.

  13. Peter L says:

    Just create a pile of trash for them to clean up where the can used to be. Lets have the workers turn on their own management.

    1. Clark A says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Peter L.!

  14. nycboy says:

    Is there a joke in here that I have somehow missed?
    I mean, I get the joke that is the MTA leadership. I get the joke that is about complete and utter incompetence in decision making. But taking away trash
    cans to reduce trash??? Does not compute. Fire CEO and any others who
    conceived this ill-conceived concept.

  15. Danny says:

    Next brilliant idea from the MTA: A plan to reduce wait times at the subway stations. Remove all trains from the rails.

  16. anonymous says:

    Just last week, I watched (& photographed) a well-dressed woman INSTRUCT her well-dressed child (Parochial school uniform) to dispose of her greasy pizza bag under the seat of the subway car. The girl even looked sheepish about it… I really think she knew she was doing the wrong thing. What lesson did this woman teach her child? It’s bad enough when people litter unconsciously. But here was an adult, a role model, who should have known better, but chose, out of convenience, to act like a selfish pig.

    With no trash cans on the platforms, most people will NOT carry their trash until they find one. It’s a ridiculous proposal. People need jobs. Public places need trash cans.
    PUT 2 + 2 TOGETHER.

  17. N. Marion says:

    So the MTA would rather have trash on the tracks?

    1. luvenlust says:

      the train ia literallly moving garbage can anyway
      the trash gets one and moves to the next stop then gets off and scatters a way
      no need for a can

  18. Alfred Jarry says:

    Eliminating trash cans eliminates trash cans. It will not eliminate trash. It is a stupid idea which highlights how incredibly incompetent the MTA is.

  19. Karfe says:

    The dumbest idea I’ve heard from the MTA. People will just put their trash on the tracks, etc. They WILL find ways to bring food and water in and ways to leave their trash behind. Stupid, stupid stupid!!!!

  20. Sage says:

    I can bet at the same time the city is planning an anti-litter ticket blitz…..

    and what about concessionaires selling products with wrappers in the subway…..

    Think people!!!!!!!

  21. ladylee says:

    In today’s world people r more concern with there own business the only thing no trash bins will do is make the stations more nasty then what it is already n more rats riding the train with the passagers!I’m for the no bins n the stations maybe it will help New York’s b more aware!

  22. Charles says:

    Less garbage. Fewer workers. Bigger executive bonuses

  23. NY12and3 says:

    Who is responsible for such an uninformed idea?! This must be a joke. I thought I was doing my part by actually putting trash into the garbage cans rather than throwing it on the tracks like others. And you want to take that away? Where will people put their trash? On the tracks or on the floor. What about parents who need to throw things away for the small children, or if accidents happen. This is so stupid. And banning drinks and food is also stupid. We are human, not robots, we may have a water bottle or a snack because we just left from working out, or just had surgery or something. I should go work for the MTA just to have an educated voice.

  24. John says:

    Yes and people will start throwing their garbage in the tracks

  25. CT Native says:

    Another GREAT IDEA. Thanks MTA……….idiots!!!!!

  26. Janelle Fox says:

    People use the subway cars as trash bins anyway.

    1. Jett says:

      Once again the MTA has come up with an incredibly philanthropic idea;save them money althought hey have no intention of saving hte consumer money withtheir intentions to already raise fares and give less service,but their kindness in thinking ahead to how the rats and mice will eat during the cold winter months;more food tossed in the tracks and on the platforms will aid them nicely.
      And personally, i would truly so much rather feed the rats and mice than see anyone on the MTA Board get a single penny from any of us.
      I thin kwe should also have a law mandating if you work for the MTA in an upper echolon position, you are requried to travel ONLY by public transit!
      Like to see them get around on time, or at all ,especially in NE Queens where they cut routes on weekedns, and buslines altogether!!!!!!!!

  27. nrichard says:

    Soooooooo…….there s too much trash …….. I know, let’s remove the trash cans so that it goes away! You can’t make this stuff up.

  28. John Smith says:

    One Word….Stupid

  29. Subway Uers says:

    They seem to have forgotten that the reason they put the garbage cans there in the first place was to prevent the track and tunnel fires and the huge infestation of rats that would run on the tracks and platforms. Without garbage cans people will just throw their garbage on the tracks like they used to. And crews will again have to walk the platforms to pick up the garbage. Removing garbage cans from the platforrns is one of the worse is ideas I have heard.

  30. Brucie says:

    This is a rediculous idea. The trash will end up in the station, on the tracks or in the already overflowing street trash cans. Removing the cans will not change the amount of trash that needs to be disposed. If it’s not in cans, it will be everywhere else.

  31. tom says:

    Funny, in London there are NO trash cans at any stations for security purposes. There is one large plastic bag at the station exit….that is it! No garbage to be found anywhere on the platforms….the conclusion: New Yorkers are pigs.

    1. jschool says:

      Not all New Yorkers are pigs. There are just some that don’t hesitate to litter.

      This test program will have a chance if there are few litter bugs and the clean people just hold on to their trash or get “trained” not to bring items that will become trash. This pretty much works everywhere else in the US and abroad.

  32. VY says:

    When the NY/NJPA built the air train to the LIRR/Subway station at Jamaica, the upper mezzanine above the LIRR train platforms originally had no garbage cans.
    Even though massive amounts of people cross up there transfering between LIRR to Subway, or Subway to Air Train, etc. they originally had no garbage cans up there on the idea that people would hold and carry their garbage to a can in the subway, or on the LIRR platforms. This was mainly because the PA always tries to push off any costs possible onto other agencies.
    Within a few years they had to add garbage cans because the average traveler just found a corner, or behind a pole to dump their garbage, leaving litter all over the place, especially on a windy day.
    There are now garbage cans around that upper mezzanine and it’s now much cleaner up there.
    The MTA will eventually learn the same thing, but they will end up picking up more garbage off the tranks, or they will be putting out more track fires before they finally learn the same thing the PA learned the hard way in Jamaica.

  33. iggy says:

    they better hire more trackworkers and track cleaners. the people are generally slobs. the tracks will be the destination for all trash. it is now.

  34. idiocy says:

    OK, this is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard. Taking away trash bins just means people are going to leave the trash in the stations and on the trains. Do they honestly think people are going to hold on to their garbage until they leave the system, or that the garbage is going to magically disappear? Now they’re going to have rats AND track fires!

  35. bullett says:

    Even with the bins removed,(whether it be for security or cost control) trash will find its way onto the platforms and rail system. It’s a matter of educating the human animal first. This amounts to no difference of opening the car window and disposing of your trash.

  36. Bruce Franz says:

    The London, England area banned outdoor trash cans years ago, though for a much different reason – the IRA was putting bombs in them. However, the end result will more than likely be the same – GARBAGE EVERYWHERE, just tossed on the ground if there was no place to deposit the liter.

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