To Clean Up Subway, NYC Getting Rid of ... Trash Cans
It sounds counterintuitive, but it's making for cleaner stations
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2012 12:30 PM CDT
Two New York subway users without a trash can.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – It sounds counterintuitive, but it's apparently working. New York City's MTA ran an unusual experiment last year: In an attempt to rid stations of the trash that accumulates beyond the trashcan (the New York Times cites "beside turnstiles and beneath benches, along subway platforms ... and on the tracks"), it eliminated trashcans altogether from two stations. The result? Less garbage, to the tune of 50% and 67% drops in what was removed by city workers. The theory is that riders will find an alternative spot to trash the trash.

But they're apparently not choosing to sloppily do so right at the mouth of the subway station entrance. "Sanitation has monitored these two locations and there has been no negative impact," says a Sanitation Department rep. The results were so encouraging that eight more stations are about to lose their cans. The MTA's chair says all stations could eventually go can-free, cutting down on the 14,000 tons of trash that are hauled out of the subway system annually. The Times notes that London's Underground has been can-less for more than a decade.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Sep 4, 2012 4:41 AM CDT
It is amazing how many people think that the ground or floor is a trashcan. I pick up after the fools daily where I work, everything from used q-tips and kleenex to tags from their new workout clothes. I think we need a mom squad armed with rolled up newspapers to swat these slobs when they litter.
Sep 3, 2012 9:22 PM CDT
I've seen it work in Japan as well as London...but here? Hard to say...
Sep 3, 2012 7:57 PM CDT
just another try by bloomer to get rid of the workers who do the job. lets get rid of bloomer instead.