Kate Hinds is an Associate Producer for WNYC News. She also reports for WNYC and Transportation Nation, a public radio reporting project that combines the work of multiple newsrooms to provide coverage of how we build, rebuild and get around the nation.
People DO Litter Less Without Subway Trash Cans. But They're Not Happy About It
Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 04:47 PM
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.