September 19, 2012 / Brooklyn news / Brooklyn Is Angry

Slope: MTA’s trash can plan is making neighborhood filthy

The Brooklyn Paper
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The MTA’s decision to remove trash cans from a busy Park Slope subway station has turned the street above into a makeshift dumpster, neighbors and business owners say.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority took out the garbage receptacles inside the Seventh Avenue–Ninth Street station in an attempt to tidy up the busy F and G train stop and reduce the rat population — but Slopers claim the agency’s trash can plan has prompted straphangers to climb the stairs then toss their coffee cups, napkins, and half-eaten sandwiches onto the sidewalk.

That frustrates residents and business owners who say the MTA’s “pilot program” — which operates under the principle that less trash cans leads to tidier places — is about as logical as chopping down trees to make Prospect Park greener.

John Hurley, manager of Dizzy’s Diner, just a few yards from the station, said businesses work hard to keep the sidewalks clean — so the transit agency should do the same.

“Regulars are upset,” Hurley said. “They like a nice, clean neighborho­od.”

Other business operators say straphangers who weren’t big litterbugs before have started stashing trash in weird places, causing a sometimes-funky smell and giving the street a less-than-appetizing appearance.

“They dump napkins and things in the trees,” said Teddy Kilabitis of Seventh Avenue Doughnuts.

The disappearing cans come after outraged neighbors last year discovered that a street-cleaning contract — which supplemented the Department of Sanitation’s trash pick-up schedule on Seventh Avenue — had expired, causing on-street cans to overflow on the popular commercial stretch.

Seventh Avenue business-boosters then joined forces to keep garbage under control, which is part of the reason some shop owners say they’re touchy when litter starts to accumulate.

An MTA spokesman said removing garbage cans has proven effective in the past — and that the agency exhausted other methods to get rid of rodents before implementing it.

“We have taken several steps to make the trash bags less accessible to rodents, including adding more frequent refuse train collections, reinforcing storage rooms, and using new, tamper-proof receptacles but the problem still persists,” spokesman Charles Seaton said in a statement

The agency also removed garbage cans at the Brighton Beach B and Q train station in recent weeks.

“We’re asking riders … to be part of the solution by taking their trash with them out of the system for disposal,” the agency said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 7:23 am, September 19, 2012
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Reasonable discourse

sajh from brooklyn heights says:
The rat problem will not go away with less trash cans. They are on the streets, in the sewer... everywhere. It's not Rat Control efforts, it's called reduced trash collection budget. They need to do their job and provide trash cans since the next issue will be trains delayed due to "excess debris" on the track, like there was on this past Saturday for the 2/3 train service (20 min delay in the middle of the day).
Sept. 19, 2012, 8:21 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
It's the usual stupid thinking, that if there are no garbage cans there will be no garbage.

Now there is garbage AND litter.

Sept. 19, 2012, 8:40 am
VLM from Park Slope says:
"The disappearing cans come after outraged neighbors last year discovered that a street-cleaning contract — which supplemented the Department of Sanitation’s trash pick-up schedule on Seventh Avenue — had expired, causing on-street cans to overflow on the popular commercial stretch."

Sounds like that's the problem and not the MTA's perfectly reasonable decision to remove trash cans. It's far easier to collect trash from surface streets than it is to remove it from underground stations that are limited to track access. So if the 7th Ave. area can't work with Sanitation to get trash picked up, that's not the MTA's fault.
Sept. 19, 2012, 8:42 am
Willhelm from VonSnigglebottom says:
I noticed the lack of trash cans this morning when I had my coffee. What do I do with the empty cup? Carry it for 45 minutes until I get above ground, or throw it on the tracks.
Sept. 19, 2012, 10:33 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
There used to be more trashcans in my neighborhood, but the city removed them. I haven't noticed an increase in trash. The problem is the occasional slob that has no consideration for anyone else and probably doesn't even live there. If the city really enforced it's littering ban, they'd increase their annual revenue by tens of millions of dollars.
Sept. 19, 2012, 10:52 am
thefatkid from Harlem says:
How about raise the $100 fine for littering to $500 and actually enforcing it? How about enforcing any/all fines period? (i.e. parking violations, moving violations, etc.) 1) it should hopefully deter the perps from future infractions and 2) actually fill the city's coffers. Problem solved.
Sept. 19, 2012, 12:53 pm
Susan from Bay Ridge says:
Can I understand why the MTA would do this? Of course. But what it comes down to is one more reduction of service; subways riders lose a bit more comfort and convenience.

"What do they expect for their $2.25, to live forever?"
Sept. 20, 2012, 12:21 am
JAY from PSLOPE says:
no trash cans is annoying, but that is no excuse to put your thrash on the ground. Its still your trash and it is still YOUR responsibility to get it into the proper trash receptacle. So yes WILLHEILM, carry your stupid coffee cup and dispose of it PROPERLY, its what non-criminal adults do! You seriously think this is some big quandary that you can't figure out?!!??
Sept. 20, 2012, 10:07 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Should and Will, Jay.

The difference between reality and fantasy in Utopia!

Responsibility - just try enforcing that!
Sept. 21, 2012, 10:47 am

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