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East Siders Trash MTA's Garbage Can Removal Program

By Amy Zimmer | October 12, 2012 6:22pm

MANHATTAN — East Siders trashed the MTA’s pilot program removing garbage cans at certain stops, according to survey results released Friday by Councilwoman Jessica Lappin’s office.

Some 66 percent of 218 survey takers said they noticed more trash at the 57th Street F station this past month, and a whopping 93 percent said removing the receptacles was a bad idea, according to the survey conducted from Sept. 19 to Oct. 5.

“As you might expect, taking away the trash cans doesn't mean people magically stop producing garbage,” Lappin said in a statement. “We [are] hearing that the amount of litter at the 57th Street Station has gone up since the bins were removed.”

The MTA launched the trash can removal program at the Flushing-Main Street station in Queens and Greenwich Village’s Eighth Street station in 2011, in an attempt to reduce smelly trash — and rat problems.  They expanded the counter-intuitive program to eight other stations this fall, including 57th Street.

Lappin urged the MTA to scrap the program and bring the garbage cans back.

But MTA officials claimed the program works, citing that reducing the trash bags at Main Street by 67 percent and by 50 percent at Eighth Street brought no noticeable increase in trash on the platforms or tracks.

“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,” an MTA spokesman said.

“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," he added.

Transit officials also said they would not consider removing trash cans from highly trafficked stations like Grand Central or Times Square.