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  Trash Can Free Station Pilot

Trash Can Free Stations Pilot Yields Positive Results

Pilot to Continue for 6-12 Months to Conduct Further Analysis

Results of the ongoing MTA New York City Transit pilot removing trash cans from a total of 39 subway stations show a significant decrease in the amount of trash bags collected from these stations. 

The initial phase of the pilot began in two stations in October, 2011. Phase 2 added eight stations in September, 2012 and Phase 3 added 29 along the J subway M subway Z subway lines in July, 2014. The Pilot stations have seen a reduction in  trash volumes, as well as several other benefits including:

  • A 66% reduction in the number of bags collected at Phase 1 and Phase 2 stations, and a 36% reduction in the number of bags collected at Phase 3 stations
  • Reduction of bags frees cleaners to perform other duties
  • Decreased rodent activity
  • Moderate-to-heavy litter levels decreased in pilot stations
  • Number of track fires remain neutral at pilot stations, rate of track fires at pilot stations lower than rates at stations with trash cans

Baseline conditions were established at each station, and station cleanliness and trash collection was monitored regularly. Litter, measured by the percentage of stations with no or light litter in the morning and daytime, increased initially, but rebounded and improved later during the pilot and is currently on par with stations that have trash cans.  Stations with cans with no or light litter stand at 85% while stations in the pilot without cans are hovering above 80%.

The decision to remove the trash cans was made in an effort to encourage customers to take with them any disposables that they carry into the system.  Currently, trash collection and removal is a tremendous undertaking.  Each day, about 40 tons of trash is removed from the system, collected from more than 3,500 trash receptacles, and approximately 50% gets recycled.

Eleven refuse collection trains cover 359 out of the system’s 469 stations with the remainder visited by refuse collection trucks.  The refuse collection trains compete with passenger trains for space along the tracks and their overnight movements can be hampered by system maintenance which may require the closing of line segments.

Before we remove any station trash cans, we will post notices in all affected stations.

We're going to keep a close eye on these stations and report our findings to you once we've completed the pilot program and analyzed the results.

Of course, your opinion is very important to us. Please tell us what you think here.

The stations in the pilot are listed below:Trash Can Free Station Pilot poster


  • 238 St 1 subway
  • E. 143 St 6 subway


  • 57 St F subway
  • Rector St 1 subway
  • 8 St R subway


  • 7 Av F subway G subway
  • Brighton Beach B subway Q subway
  • Cypress Hills J subway
  • Crescent St J subway Z subway
  • Norwood Av J subway Z subway
  • Cleveland St J subway
  • Van Siclen Av J subway Z subway
  • Alabama Av J subway
  • Broadway Junction J subway Z subway
  • Chauncey St J subway Z subway
  • Halsey St J subway
  • Gates Av J subway Z subway
  • Kosciuszko St J subway
  • Flushing Av J subway M subway
  • Lorimer St J subway M subway
  • Hewes St J subway M subway
  • Marcy Av J subway M subway Z subway
  • Myrtle-Wyckoff Av M subway
  • Knickerbocker Av M subway
  • Central Av M subway


  • 111 St A subway
  • 65 St M subway R subway
  • 121 St J subway Z subway
  • 111 St J subway
  • 104 St J subway Z subway
  • Woodhaven Blvd J subway Z subway
  • 85 St-Forest Pkwy J subway
  • 75 St-Elders Lane J subway
  • Flushing – Main St 7 subway
  • Myrtle Av J subway M subway Z subway
  • Metropolitan Av M subway
  • Fresh Pond Road M subway
  • Forest Av M subway
  • Seneca Av M subway
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