NEW YORK—Trash bins will be removed along the J and M subway lines in an effort to reduce litter, according to MTA officials.
Litter went down about 66 percent in the first 10 stations selected for the pilot program, so the Metropolitan Transit Authority is expanding the removal to 29 stations on the J and M lines.
“It’s actually a small line segment,” said Joe Leader, vice president of subways, at an MTA meeting.
The program has been successful because it created a change in the subway riders’ behavior, Leader said. Litter continued to decrease quarter after quarter as people became used to bringing their trash elsewhere, he said.
About 14,000 tons of trash are collected every year from subway stations. After seeing success at the first two stations—a 67 percent reduction at Main Street on the No. 7 line and a 50 percent reduction at the Eighth Street station on the R line—eight more stations were added in September 2012.
According to Mark Page, city budget director under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the program did not address the big picture. Trash not collected by the MTA might have to be collected by the city or is possibly littered elsewhere. Page said the issue should be looked at more broadly to see whether this created a more expensive problem.
Surveying results, the MTA looks at areas including platforms and stairs leading out of subway stations. Leader said they have not heard complaints from the Department of Sanitation.