People DO Litter Less Without Subway Trash Cans. But They're Not Happy About It

Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 04:47 PM

(photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

A counter-intuitive subway garbage experiment is yielding mixed results

Five months ago the city removed trash cans at two stations -- the Main Street/Flushing #7 station in Queens and the West 8th Street N/R in Greenwich Village -- to see if straphangers would actually litter less. Thomas Prendergast, the president of New York City Transit, said it's working -- but riders don't like it.

"So we haven't been able to change their minds from a perceptional standpoint," he said, "but from a behavioral standpoint, we have."

But there is one group who are giving the experiment a thumbs-up. "The cleaners that work the stations like it," he said, "because they're carrying less trash out."

Prendergast added that while there a lot of people who think "it's backwards," the experiment will continue for now.

He was speaking at a transportation forum held Thursday morning at the law firm of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

A spokesperson for the MTA said the city hasn't made any decisions about whether to end the program or expand it to other stations.




Comments [3]


The MTA is a public benefit corporation chartered by New York State. "The city" is not responsible for this pilot or determining how to proceed with this or any other NYCT policy. Check your facts.

Mar. 11 2012 12:43 PM

Even if all it does is move the trash to the streets, the act of bringing refuse out of the system substantially reduces the burden of collecting and removing it and improves the reliability of the system.

Mar. 02 2012 10:55 AM

OK, so people litter less - in the stations. What's the effect of litter on the streets outside the stations? Inside the trains?

Mar. 01 2012 05:01 PM

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