New York scraps plan to reduce subway litter by removing trash bins: media

(Reuters) - New York has ended a test program aimed at reducing litter in its subway stations by removing garbage bins from stations after it was found the move led to even more litter, local media reported this week.

The idea was that people would take garbage with them and throw it away some place else.

The program was started in 2011 with the removal of trash bins at two stations and expanded to 39 stations in 2014. It was ended last year, CBS New York TV quoted a State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokeswoman as saying.

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 1: The very first 2nd Avenue subway train open to the public arrives as a Q train at 57th Street and subway enthusiasts board the front car for the historical ride to 96th Street on January 1, 2017(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
Subway goers walk on the platform at the celebration for the completion of the Second Avenue Subway with New Year's Eve inaugural ride in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 31, 2016. Picture taken December 31, 2016. REUTERS/Elizabeth Shafiroff
Subway goers walk on the platform at the celebration for the completion of the Second Avenue Subway with New Year's Eve inaugural ride in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 31, 2016. Picture taken December 31, 2016. REUTERS/Elizabeth Shafiroff
The entrance to the elevated subway platform for the 7 train is seen closed in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ride the escalator while entering the 96th Street Station during a preview event for the Second Avenue subway line in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 22, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 07: General view of the Second Avenue subway line after the opening of three new stations to the public by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on January 07, 2017 in New York, United States. (Photo by Vanessa Carvalho/Brazil Photo Press/LatinContent/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 3: People stand on the platform at the 96th Street station on the Second Avenue subway line on January 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 1: A large crowd enters 96 St station of the Q line extension of the new 2nd Avenue Subway of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City, NY, January 1, 2017, along Second Avenue on the East Side of Manhattan during opening day. The completion of phase one of the Second Avenue Subway is New York Citys first major expansion of the subway system in over 50 years. Once completed, the line will have reached its stretch of 8.5 miles through the East Side of Manhattan from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Commuters walk to the train platform at a newly opened station on the Second Avenue subway line in New York, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. The first train departed the 96th Street station at noon after a speech by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 1: The very first 2nd Avenue subway train open to the public arrives as a Q train at 57th Street and subway enthusiasts board the front car for the historical ride to 96th Street on January 1, 2017(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: Crime scene tape is viewed in the trash near where two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were shot and killed December 21, 2014 in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were killed execution style on December 20 as they sat in their marked police car on a Brooklyn street corner. The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley who allegedly shot ex-girlfriend in Baltimore earlier in the day, was apparently motivated by the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. According to police, Brinsley shot himself in the head on the subway platform and was transported to Brooklyn Hospital where he was pronounced dead. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A litter recycling bin on the subway train platform in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, USA.
New York Police Department officers and canine search a garbage bin near a closed Times Square subway station in Midtown, New York January 27, 2014. Police cordoned off the platform for the 1, 2 and 3 trains following reports of a suspicious package, local media reported. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW ANIMALS)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 1: The very first 2nd Avenue subway train open to the public arrives as a Q train at 57th Street and subway enthusiasts board the front car for the historical ride to 96th Street on January 1, 2017(Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
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An audit from the Office of the New York State Comptroller found there was an increase in litter and fires on subway tracks after the program was put in place, the TV station said.

"The notion 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," it quoted State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli as saying.

The annual ridership for the subway system, which has 469 stations, is about 1.76 billion people, according to MTA data.

Officials from the MTA, Office of the New York State Comptroller and New York City Department of Sanitation were not immediately available for comment due to their offices being closed on the weekend.

"We found that there were also better ways that we could remove trash off the tracks and keep trash from making its way onto the tracks," MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco told the TV station.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; editing by Diane Craft)

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