Remember the pilot program that the MTA put in place to try to reduce subway garbage by counterintuitively removing garbage cans from platforms? The theory went that all those riders, once they found out that there was no appropriate receptacle, would tuck away their trash until it was time to dump in an appropriate receptacle. Oh, MTA, you gentle dreamers! What actually happened is that people just threw their empty wrappers and broken umbrellas and cold french fries onto the tracks or the platform, leading to a huge uptick in the general trashiness of our subway stations.
Officially, the MTA blames the increased filthiness of the stations on the number of riders in the system. But the correlation between increased garbage everywhere and lack of trash cans is, shall we say, considerable. The New York Daily News reports that during July to December last year, moderate to heavy amounts of trash were found at 28 percent of the stations in the system, as opposed to just 19 percent of stations during the same period in 2013. But the other thing that changed? Fewer garbage cans, as the no-trash-cans-here program spread to another 29 stations. Coincidence? Probably not.
Garbage cans: We need them. People in New York are not going to wait to dump their half-eaten McMuffin in an appropriate venue. Sorry, kids.