ABO Developments - Spring 2013 - (Page 13)

Rats: A Success Story T he jury is out on whether flooding during Hurricane Sandy exacerbated New York City’s rat problem, but it surely put a spotlight on it. The rains had hardly ceased before the media, local and nationwide, were rife with anecdotes and fantasies, of rats en masse fleeing the coast, tunnels and subways of New York City for the streets and alleyways. Since the storm the stories have become less hysterical, tempered by reports by the city’s health department and civic groups claiming they have not experienced an increase in rat complaints. But the story has legs. “Hurricane Sandy Puzzle: Where Did the Rats Go?” inquired the Arizona Daily Star in late February, four months after Sandy, in their headline for an AP story appearing in newspapers all over the country. “It remains a mystery,” the piece concluded. What is this fascination with New York and its rats? After all, rodents are hardly a problem for New York City alone, according to Jeff Dussich, CEO of JAD Corp., producer Mint-X rodent-repellent garbage bags. There is a reason the bags are widely used throughout the country. “They were designed for our own backyard, but this is a problem all over — and not just in cities, but in the suburbs,” explains Dussich, who co-owns the 50-year-old College Point, Queens-based JAD Corp. with his father Joe “Dee” Dussich, inventor of Mint-X bags, and his three brothers — all ABO members. Still, Dussich takes some pride in the city’s prominence among ratinfested cities. “We always say, who better to invent a rodent-repellent trash bag then the biggest trash bag company in what is probably the rat capital of the United States?” Mint-X rodent-repellant bags are sold throughout the Northeast and in BY STEVE CUTLER needed garbage bags. From there we got into the plastics business.” The rest is New York City garbage history. “My father,” says Joe ‘Dee,’ “actually invented the first heavy-duty black garbage bag we still see in the streets of New York piled up like sausage links.” Let’s Eat! JAD Corp.: From left, Joe “Dee” Dussich, Joe Dussich, Jr., Jeff Dussich and James Dussich Canada, and the company is in the process of expanding to markets across the country and to Asia and Australia. The company also makes a complete line of janitorial supplies and employs a team of agents to educate building managers on how to put them to use most effectively. Birth of the Modern Rodent Resurgence Rats have been reported in New York City since the early colonial days, but the problem became especially pernicious and conspicuous around 1969, an unintended consequence of a bill, Local Law 14, aimed at improving air quality in the city. Until that time apartment residents threw their garbage down a chute to the building’s incinerator. The superintendent would shovel the ash into “ash cans” which were placed in front of the building for collection by sanitation trucks. Local Law 14 gave building owners three years to replace incinerators, which spewed contaminants into the air, with garbage compacting machines. The compacted garbage would be bagged and left on the street for pickup. JAD founder Joe “Dee” Dussich, sr., a former builder, seized the opportunity. Dussich devised a compactor machine which could be neatly installed into the footprint of the existing incinerator. But perhaps more important, says Joe “Dee,” jr., “he invented a bag which was strictly for compactors. As more compacter companies got into the business, people Now for the unintended consequence: “Instead of ash,” explains Dussich, “you had a smorgasbord of garbage right out in front of the building.” The city became a grand buffet. “Rats want Chinese food, they go down to Chinatown,” says Dussich. “They want Italian, let’s go to Little Italy. They want a little German food, they go to 86th Street. We made the air clean, which is beautiful — our skies are great — but we created a buffet for rats. And the rats will continue to get worse.” Dussich says the solution to the problem of rats tearing into garbage bags on the street came to him about ten years ago as a result of an urgent call from a client, the operator of a large apartment complex. “The guy said,” recalls Dussich, “ ‘Joe, did you see the photograph in the Times yesterday?’ The picture showed children in little white first-communion outfits playing in front of a pile of garbage bags” — with half a dozen fat rats picking at the garbage bags. “Those are my buildings and your bags,” the client said. “Can’t you make a bag that kills rats?” Joe “Dee” took up the challenge. The biggest problem: how to make a bag that kills rats yet won’t harm children or animals. The solution: his research team found that rats, whose sinuses are 100 times more sensitive than humans, are repulsed by mint. Working with chemists, Dussich found a way to melt mint and like fragrances into the lining of heavy duty plastic bags. After three years of testing by the Spring 2013 | 13 http://www.naylornetwork.com/abo-nxt/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Spring 2013

A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
BuildingsNY The Bigger, The Better…2013
Workshops and Seminars
Making Room New Models for Housing
ABO 2012 Awards Luncheon
Rats A Success S tory
Index of Advertisers

ABO Developments - Spring 2013