According to the MTA announcement, 1,443 tons of trash are removed from the tracks every year, but that hardly makes a dent in the piles of discarded wrappers, food containers and plastic bags left in our stations.
The MTA’s goal is to clean the tracks in underground stations every three weeks with cleaning crews. But a city comptroller’s report found that most stations did not meet that goal over the 12 months ending in June 2014. Some stations got cleaned just once.
Some clever students at Baruch College Campus High School have prototyped a better way to collect trash, mounting a hydraulic vacuum on the front of all work trains, not just the specialty trash pickup vacuum ones.
They’ve been getting good results with a quarter-scale model. “Ours is gonna be one car…and it has a vacuum hose coming out of it,” said Wendy Ni, one of the 12 new graduates working on the project. “It’s semiautomatic because of light sensors, ultrasonic sensors. And also you will see hydraulic cylinders that will assist us when we are dumping the trash out from the vacuum.”
Click through to the full story on WNYC to learn more, or to enter your station in their interactive table to see how many times it was cleaned this past year.