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Trash Can Removal Pilot to Expand

M Train at Elevated Station

Results of the ongoing pilot removing trash cans from subway stations are favorable to the point of warranting expansion of the program to another 29 stations, while maintaining the trial at the current ten stations.

Removing trash cans from stations allows us to reduce the amount of trash that must to be stored on platforms and in refuse rooms and then removed from the system each day.  The pilot began in two stations in October, 2011 and expanded to ten stations in September, 2012.  So far, the pilot has seen a reduction in trash volumes as well as several other benefits, including:

  • A 66% reduction in the number of bags collected
  • Reduction of bags frees cleaners to perform other duties
  • Rodent population either decreased or unchanged
  • Moderate to heavy litter levels decreased in pilot stations

The expansion calls for the removal of refuse cans in 29 stations along the J Subway Line Icon and M Subway Line Icon Lines.   Baseline conditions will be established at each station, station cleanliness and trash collection will be monitored regularly and track cleaning will be increased.

“The results have been for the most part very positive and we have seen some behavioral changes by riders,” said Department of Subways, SVP Joe Leader.  “We will expand the pilot to stations between Broad Street and Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer in order to gauge the impact along an entire line segment.”

The decision to remove the trash cans was made in an effort to guide customers to take with them any disposables that they carry into the system.  Currently, trash collection and removal is a tremendous undertaking.  Each day, about 40 tons of trash is removed from the system, collected from more than 3,500 trash receptacles.

Eleven refuse collection trains cover 359 out of the system’s 468 stations with the remainder visited by refuse collection trucks.  The refuse collection trains compete with passenger trains for space along the tracks and their overnight movements can be hampered by system maintenance which may require the closing of line segments.