New York's Subway System Is Getting Rid Of Trash Cans

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is expanding a pilot program to remove trash cans from New York City subway stations, it announced Monday.

By taking away trash cans, the MTA hopes to “guide customers to take [their trash] with them,” which saves workers the effort of picking up after them.

That’s no small undertaking: MTA employees remove about 40 tons of trash from more than 3,500 trash cans every day.

Refuse collection trains run on the same tracks as passenger trains and compete for space. There are 468 subway stations in New York — and workers who don’t have to pick up trash at all of them are free to do other tasks.

The program began in October 2011 and is currently in place at 10 stations. It will be expanded to another 29 station on the J and M train lines.

So far, it has delivered results. The MTA reports a 66% drop in bags collected, “decreased or unchanged” rodent populations, and “moderate to heavy litter levels decreased in pilot stations.”

On the 29 stations new to the program, the MTA will monitor conditions and increase track cleaning.

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