A Failed Attempt to Clean Up NYC Subways

The presence of rats, exposed trash, and foul smells prompted NYC comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli to take a new approach to NYC trash. In a controversial experiment DiNapoli removed many NYC subway garbage cans.

The theory behind the experiment was: If there are no trash cans, garbage can’t overflow onto the platform. If there’s not overflowing garbage subways will a) look better and b)attract fewer rodents.

Unfortunately the 4 year experiment was at best, “inconclusive.”

“There’s no doubt that removing garbage cans from subway stations saved work and possibly some money for the MTA,” DiNapoli said. “It’s not clear that it met MTA’s goals of improving straphangers’ experience and making stations cleaner and there’s no evidence it reduced the number of rats in subway stations. After four years the best one can say about this experiment is that it’s inconclusive, except for the fact that riders have a harder time finding a trash can.”

While DiNapoli certainly isn’t completely satisfied with the results of the experiment, the MTA has a different outlook. According to www.osc.state.ny.us : “MTA announced a 36 percent drop in trash collected at these stations and its intention to continue the program.”