The receptacles, produced by BlastGard International Inc. cost around $735,000. Metro plans to take initial delivery and installation of the trash receptacles this summer, and the remaining installations will be completed by the end of the third fiscal quarter.
"Since we removed trash receptacles from the stations and platforms after Sept. 11, 2001, our patrons have commented that MetroRail stations and rail cars have more trash," said Polly Hanson, Metro's chief of police. "To alleviate the problem, we will install BlastGard's special blast mitigating trash receptacles on station platforms."
BlastGard MTR blast mitigated trash receptacles, Models MTR 91 and MTR 101, produced in conjunction with Centerpoint Manufacturing, Inc., have undergone extensive testing by the Redstone Technical Test Center at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. and by the Explosive Technology Center at DEMEX International in Picayune, Miss. The test reports established that the BlastGard MTR series of blast mitigated trash receptacles addresses all of the lethal threats of an improvised explosive device (IED) – fragmentation, shock and blast pressures, the fireball and even after-burn threats and reflected pressures. The BlastGard MTR series even reduces the pressure exerted by a very large charge from 60.47 PSI (100 percent fatal) to 7.5 PSI (eardrum damage) at 10 feet.
"Trash receptacles, which are a necessity for waste management, pose a serious threat to public safety, considering how easily they can conceal an explosive device planted by a terrorist," said Jim Gordon, chairman of BlastGard. "Heinous acts of terrorism have caused all of us to be more cognizant of our safety and nowhere is that concern greater than in government and public facilities."
Adds Hanson, "The installation of these blast mitigating trash receptacles is another step toward Metro's emphasis on safety, reliability, enhanced cleanliness and improved customer service and outreach. This is another example of how Metro listens to its customers and works to address their needs. Additionally, we continue to ask our customers to be our partners in keeping the system safe by reporting any suspicious package or activity to a Metro employee or police officer."
For more information about Metro's efforts to protect the infrastructure of the rail system in Washington, D.C. see "Infrastructure Protection Begins with Communication."