Walking, Transit and the Trash~The New York City Demonstration Project

For anyone that walks around major cities, garbage is a problem. There never seems to be a garbage bin in the right place at the right time. And that was the case in this New York City story.

Global news describes the end of a demonstration project in New York City   that installed garbage bins at subway stations. Commenced in 2011, the program expanded to have garbage containers at track level in 39 stations. The problem? The program was too successful. While the whole point was to reduce littering in subway stations, the city found that having the containers contributed to more litter, and to rats.
Of course reducing rubbish bins sounds wrong. “Thenotion that you’re going to be more efficient by taking away the trash cans, so therefore you won’t generate so many bags of trash to haul away — like the trash was going to magically disappear — I think that probably wasn’t the smartest judgment,”  quoted State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.”  Indeed New York City found that the containers led to a higher incidence in trash fires, and depositing of trash on the tracks. And to get rid of trash on tracks? New York City has a “vacuum train”.

The anticipated solution is that everyone will carry their trash out of the station and properly deposit it on the street. With the majority of commuters in New York City used to disposable conveniences, they are used to carrying everything in their hands or buying on the go. On city streets there are lots of trash cans, just not below the ground.

 To give you an idea of the size of the  subway system, it has 469 stations and moves about 1.76 billion people annually.