Help me understand something

For months now, I have been stymied each and every morning at Journal Square/PATH Plaza station by the conspicous absence of rubbish bins. There is not one in the entire building. The nearest trash bin is outside, on the sidewalk, probably maintained by Jersey City, but inside PATH Plaza, nothing.

This presents a problem.

What am I supposed to do with my banana peel? Or on the off chance I’d bought a cup of coffee that day (not like it’s really an issue; there is no coffee shop within walking distance of PATH Plaza, unless you count the Dunkin Donuts three blocks away), what do they want me to do with the empty cup? How about my MetroCard after there’s no more rides on it? Or in winter, my virus-laden Kleenex?

There is not one single garbage can in the whole place. Not on the platforms, not on the mezzanine where the MetroCard machines are, not outside the little deli on the 2nd floor of the Plaza, not at the entrance to the plaza near the escalators, not in front of either bank, the Duane Reed, or the newspaper stand.

I don’t understand how there can be not ONE single garbage bin in the whole place. That said, I’m surprised PATH Plaza is not more of a pig sty than what it is. Here are some of the creative ways people deal with their trash:

  • coffee cups, unwanted newspapers, and apple cores (ew) are balanced precariously on the small metal lip of the housing that holds the PATH transit maps and schedule information
  • napkins, coffee cups, food wrappers, and Kleenex (ew) are stuffed into the plexiglass pockets where the PATH schedules are stacked
  • people take their trash with them on the PATH and leave it in the train

Clearly, none of these options are very good, not to mention sanitary. Which really makes me wonder why there are no trash bins. Are they trying to cut costs? Were bums taking them over, using them for bonfires? Did people steal them, deface them, play games with the PATH Plaza maintenance personnel and tip them over like cows on a Connecticut farm? Or worse, is someone at Port Authority Trans-Hudson asleep at the wheel? Did he just forget to order them? How could you not have garbage cans in a mass-transit system that feeds approximately a quarter of a million people every workday to New York City? (I have also noticed the lack of trash bins at the Hoboken PATH station but the venue merits further investigation)

I’m going to write a letter to the Port Authority Trans Hudson and see what they have to say for themselves.

By the way, in case you were wondering, how do I deal with my trash? Well, if it’s just a virus bomb of a tissue, I keep it in my pocket until I get to New York City, you know, where they’ve heard of a thing called “the trash can.” Or if I have any organic matter, like a banana peel, I put it in the plastic bag my New York Times came in, tie up my little blue plastic baggie, and throw it in the garbage in that Utopian City Where Its Citizens Are So Loved By The Kaiser He Picks Up Their Garbage, aka Manhattan. Clearly we, the serfs of New Jersey, can be left to muddle around in our own waste.



~ by Lola on April 10, 2008.

One Response to “Help me understand something”

  1. well at least you have a concrete reason for why trash is in places other than trash cans. in my area people just throw their chicken bones, food containers, bottles, etc. right on the sidewalk completely by-passing any trashcans that might be in the vicinity. it’s special.

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