NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said its pilot program to reduce trash in the subway system is working and it will remove refuse cans at an additional 29 stations.

The agency launched the program in October 2011 in an effort to reduce the subway rodent population and the amount of refuse pick-up in the stations.

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The agency first removed trash bins at the Main Street station on the No. 7 line in Queens and the other in Greenwich Village at Broadway and Eighth Street.

The MTA expanded the program a year later, making eight more stations – two each in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens — trash can free.

The MTA said it has resulted in a 66 percent reduction in the number of bags collected.

The expansion calls for the removal of refuse cans in 29 stations along the J and M lines.

The agency said riders have been part of the solution by taking their trash out with them.

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“If you take the subways in Japan they have the same thing, people take their garbage home with them instead of throwing it out and it doesn’t pile up,” one commuter said.

But some subway riders find the program inconvenient.

“It’s annoying at times,” one man said. “It ends up in your pockets or people just throw it on the tracks and you get rats.”

“That doesn’t make any sense at all,” one straphanger told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “How would it cut down on litter if you’re taking the trash cans away?”

“I’m not a litterbug. So that’s upsetting when I have something and I want to throw it out and I can’t because there’s no garbage. That kills me,” a woman added.

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