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MTA anti-trashcan pilot program shows little to no results: audit

The MTA’s elimination of trash receptacles in subway stations in hopes of reducing exposed trash and vermin has shown little to no evidence of success, according to an audit released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Tuesday, September 22.

“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 straphanger experience and making stations cleaner, and there’s no evidence it reduced its number of rats in subway stations.”

The MTA’s NYC Transit launched the pilot program in October of 2011 based on the theory that removing trashcans meant no overflowing trash or full trash bags lying around for customers to see or to attract rats.

DiNapoli’s audit – which, according to his office, the MTA strongly contested, citing a 36 percent drop in trash collected at these stations in August, 2015 (after the audit concluded) — recommended that the agency objectively assess the results of the pilot based on its goals before deciding whether or not to continue it.

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