UPDATE: NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver told the New York Post he was unaware that Mint-X rodent-repelling garbage bags had failed smell tests in 2012 after they gave workers nausea. Silver also claimed that Mayor Bill de Blaiso never persuaded him to award a no-bid contract to Joseph Dussich for donating to his campaign.
According to the Post, Silver claims that some workers like the smell of the bags while others do not.
- Joseph Dussich and his company JAD Corp. of America had been trying to sell Mint-X rodent-repelling garbage bags to New York's Department of Parks and Recreation for years. After donating $100,000 to Mayor Bill de Blasio's nonprofit campaign fundraising organization, Dussich received a $15,000 contract from the city to test his bags.
- That contract is now being reviewed by federal and state investigators as part of an ongoing probe into the nonprofit's fundraising activities.
- JAD later lost a larger city contract to another company, but ended up selling $3 million of Mint-X bags to the company that won the bid.
New York City Hall is currently involved in five investigations from various levels of government and this is another wrinkle in that saga. It's unclear whether Dussich's donations influenced the contracts, but at least one watchdog organization has questions.
After the initial trial of Mint-X bags, the city issued a request for bags that had been officially "registered" with the EPA to deter rodents. Mint-X claims to be the only company with this certification.
"It sounds like the bid language was tailor-made to guarantee Dussich's product would be sold to the city no matter what,” Geoffrey Croft, head of NYC Park Advocates, told the Post.
According to a Bloomberg interview with Dussich, Mint-X bags are available in major retail stores across the country. He said the concept originated when his company began selling more garbage bags after apartment incinerators were shut down in New York during the 1960s. They noticed the bags were attracting rats and after many years of research discovered a way to deter them using natural methods.