MTA Press Releases

Press Release
January 4, 2008
Help MTA New York City Transit Make Your Subway A Trash-Free Environment

MTA New York City Transit is posting colorful public service notices onboard thousands of system subway cars, reminding riders to discard their newspapers in trash cans rather than simply leaving them on the train or platform.

The posters, which have begun appearing on trains citywide, bear a photograph of a newspaper carelessly discarded beneath a subway car seat. The large text describes it as "Bad News!" This is the first in a series of posters in the "Your city. Your subway. Your station. Your LITTER," campaign aimed at reminding riders to use station trash receptacles when disposing of their newspapers, cups and any other litter.

Aside from maintaining a more customer-friendly environment, the proper disposal of newspapers and other forms of litter also helps to prevent track fires and system flooding. When newspapers are carelessly left onboard trains and in stations, it is likely that they will be blown to the trackbed where they can cause real problems.

"Newspapers and subway tracks are not a good combination," said Steven Feil, Senior Vice President, NYC Transit's Department of subways. "The papers can cause fires when ignited by electrical equipment and, if it rains, can lead to flooding when they block drainage areas."

Beverage containers can also block drains if they wind up on the roadbed, but more often the contents of discarded cups winds up on the seats and the floors of subway cars leaving surfaces dirty, sticky and slippery. In a coming ad, "You Can Take it with You," riders will be urged not to leave cups and other containers behind on trains.

As a result of recently introduced safety and customer satisfaction programs, customers will benefit from an overall improvement in the cleanliness and appearance of their subway cars, stations and buses. Funding for subway station, subway car and track cleaning is being increased with an eye towards reducing the number of track fires and trains with emergency brake activation - both of which contribute to delays in service.

Annually, more than 17,000 tons of refuse are removed from the system. Of course, as a public service for our customers, NYC Transit recycles a large portion of the passenger-generated litter from the subway platforms. This recycling program, introduced in 1996, continues to reduce the amount of waste brought to landfills.