The MTA will remove the trash cans from 29 stations along the J and M subway lines after a pilot program at 10 locations resulted in less garbage getting hauled out, MTA officials said Monday.
The report on the pilot program that started at two stations in October 2011 and grew to 10 in September 2012 showed that 66 percent fewer trash bags were being removed and occurrences of moderate-to-heavy amounts of litter during the day dropped to 30 percent in September, from 41 percent a year earlier.
"Customers' behavior changed at those stations," Joe Leader, vice president of subways, told an MTA board committee. "They knew there were no trash cans so they took their trash somewhere else."
Without trash cans, however, there was a 3.2 percent increase in the amount of garbage removed from the pilot station tracks, where it poses a risk of a fire. The rat population decreased or remained unchanged.
Garbage cans will be removed at 29 stations along the entire J line and the M line from Queens to Manhattan.
One rider was skeptical that his fellow passengers would tote their trash outside the subway system. "People are slobs. They throw things on the platform," said Norman Bernstein, 77, an office supply salesman from midtown.