NYC Transit Tries to Get Rid of Trash By Removing Trash Cans

Via the NY Times:

“If cleanliness is next to godliness, then the New York City subway has long been in need of a few prayers.

 So trash-weary officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are trying something new: in a counterintuitive plan, a pair of subway stops, one in Queens and one in Greenwich Village, have been entirely bin-free for the last two weeks.

The idea is to reduce the load on the authority’s overtaxed garbage crew, which is struggling to complete its daily rounds of clearing out 40 tons of trash from the system.

But it also offers a novel experiment: will New Yorkers stop throwing things away in the subway if there is no place to put them?”

Well, let me give you my opinion, having lived in NYC for almost 10 years:  No – NY’ers will not stop throwing things away in the subway if there is no place to put them.  There may be some cultures and societies where this idea might work, but New York City is not one of them.  One of my biggest pet peeves living in New York used to be watching people throw trash on the ground on the street when there was a trash can 15 feet in front of them on the corner.   It was endlessly annoying/frustrating/rage inducing.

But I have another question:  why is the MTA’s garbage crew “overtaxed?”    According to the data, there are at least 345,000 unemployed people in New York City.  Can you see where I’m going with this (hint: I wrote about a tangential point a few weeks ago) – I’m sure there are an ample number of people receiving extended unemployment benefits in NYC, although I couldn’t find the data.  I’m also sure that a number of these people are perfectly qualified to work cleaning up trash on the subway (or the streets, for that matter).   So why do we pay extended unemployment benefits when we have work that people could be doing?  Hire them to clean the subway.  Voila: job creation.

In New York City, there’s always something else that can be cleaned.

-KD

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