Reinventing the way we do Trash

A reader sent me a link about subway fires in New York City. The link title talked about 2004 in 2006. hmm The link cites New York Daily News as the source. The article starts off:
Transit officials blame….uh oh ..not again…
see: NYC MTA Gives ‘Viacom Outdoor’ a Good Talking to

The facts given in “NYC subway fires up 40 percent in 2004:

  • highest level of riders in decades
  • sparks of passing trains ignite trash on the tracks
  • 37,000 bags of rubbish are hauled away jan-september
  • last 3 months of 2005 more MTA workers added to haul away trash, by November the number of fires had dropped.
  • fires were the cause of the delay of an average of 363 trains

I wondered:

  • does the MTA evaluate how the trash gets there?

I’ve been riding the subway for well over 30 years, everyday, many times a day. Here is how the trash gets on the tracks:

  • trash cans are either non-existent or they are filled to the brim
  • homeless people go through trash cans and don’t put back what they take out
  • I have never seen a person deliberately throw something into the subway tracks

I thought:

  • has the MTA ever evaluated the trash in the tracks before a fire?

what is the source of that trash?

  • cups with Diet Coke, “Just for the Taste of it”(r)(tm)
  • Bags with McDonald’s, “I’m lovin’ it”(r)(tm).
  • New York Times newspapers (colored inserts), “All the news that’s fit to print”(r)(tm).
  • Free newspapers, one free newspaper read ‘free newspapers’ caused the fire.
  • Cups with Dunkin Donuts, “eat, drink, think.”(r)(tm)

Take a survey of which fast food or press is creating trash

  • Let each source come up with a way to make sure their brand is not left on the tracks

Adding rules doesn’t work. Nor does percolating the ecology mantra.

People are burn’t on these two.

Reinvent how the MTA loves their customers, appeal to the commute and commuter’s day through real humor (not disappointing attitudes, fear, negativity, disinfatuation…).

How about letting the customers come up with the recipes that would improve the MTA service. MTA cookoff ala the style of the 42nd Pillsbury Cookoff. Those cookoffs improve Pillsbury’s product and credibility.

Which brings me to the question, how much income could MTA possibly be getting for the ‘ad spaghetti tested for done’ thrown on trains and on the subway walls?

Clearly it would be beneficial to use the space for positive consciousness raising and motivating about trash and ettiquette while commuting.

Take a page from Waterboy’s recipes for Subway Announcements

if you don’t get what I am saying.

or a children’s book for adults.

or a rulebook used as a word book.

Want to get to work on time? Forgetta about the coffee and the newspaper then…

Don’t want to get trashed by this ride…..well why are you bringing trash into the subway?

So what’s the rush, get rid of it when you get to your destination. …

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