Almost exactly a year ago the MTA started an interesting experiment. In order to reduce trash in subway stations they started taking away trash cans. And shockingly, it worked. So well, the Authority decided to expand the program, which they started doing in August. But now some East Siders have decided they miss the old cans and so their City Council member is asking they be returned.
"As you might expect, taking away the trash cans doesn't mean people magically stop producing garbage. In particular, we hearing that the amount of litter at the 57th Street Station has gone up since the bins were removed," City Council member Jessica Lappin said in a statement today. "The MTA should toss out this plan and put the garbage cans back."
Except should it? Lappin comes to her conclusion based on an online survey filled out by just 218 respondents between September 19th and October 5th—not exactly a huge sample. And the MTA's own evidence shows that while counterintuitive taking away trash cans really does reduce trash.
Here, the MTA responds to Lappin's call for the return of the cans: "After initial positive results at the first two stations, we expanded the pilot to get a better understanding of the impact of removing trash cans from stations. These stations are being closely monitored and the results will be analyzed to determine where removing trash cans works best and whether to continue the program in the future."
If, however, you are one of those people who simply must have a trash can in the subway station you are waiting in, here are the current stations you probably want to avoid:
Bronx: 238th Street 1 station // East 143rd Street 6 station
Manhattan: 57th Street F station // Rector Street 1 station // 8th Street N/R station
Brooklyn: 7th Avenue FG/ station // Brighton Beach Q station
Queens: 111th Street A station // 65th Street MR station // Flushing-Main Street 7 station