The MTA Wants Even Fewer Trash Cans in Subway Stations (and Fewer Rats)

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Rats on the subway tracks at the 53rd. St. station.Photo: Andrew Savulich/1997/NY Daily News Archive

After mercifully leaving our subway trash cans alone for a while, the MTA has decided to redouble its efforts to deprive us of them. Turns out that after removing the cans from ten stations, the agency continues to find that fewer trash cans mean fewer rats, and less trash to collect. So now it plans to de-can another 29 stations along the J and M lines this year. This presents riders on those lines with an unpleasant choice: Litter or take your trash with you. The MTA insists it won't take cans from the highest-volume stations. Still, Straphangers Campaign attorney Gene Russianoff puts riders' complaint well: "Treating Herald Square like it's Yosemite National Park and forcing riders to have to pack it out — we just don't feel this is a way you should be treating your customers."