City Balks on EPS Ban After $100K Offer

It seems some people at City Hall just don’t know how to accept a bribe anymore.

All of last year, the city held public meetings about a potential ban on expanded polystyrene. It seemed like it would be no big thing, especially after passing a plastic bag ban. That is until December rolled around, and DART—a food-packaging company that manufactures EPS products—offered San Jose $100,000 to look at other ways to meet the city’s trash-reduction goals by 2014.

“We as a staff met with DART, and at that point DART suggested they had a budget of $100,000,” says Jennifer Garnett, a spokesperson for San Jose’s Environmental Services Department. “So, what we’ve agreed to do is work on a pilot effort that is designed to explore how this partnership might work. We haven’t taken any money nor have we taken a commitment, but why don’t we try to work together to see if a private-public partnership might work to decrease litter?”

In essence, DART offered the city a payoff; the city said “No, thank you” to the money, and then San Jose officials did exactly what DART had tried to get the city to do originally.

Click here to read the full story on San Jose’s decision not to ban EPS.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. Sam Liccardo, a San Jose councilmember who requested that the city speed up action on an EPS ban to this fall rather than wait until 2013, sounded incredulous when the city passed on taking action on EPS following DART’s generous offer.

    “The $100,000 dollars by all appearances looks an awful lot like a bribe,” he says. “There’s no secret about what’s going on here. The question is: What’s the right policy for the city regardless of who’s throwing out the money?”

    Gee Sam, you’re right. For Chrissakes, you’re a lawyer! Now the question is why haven’t you done anything about it? Doesn’t suit your agenda?

    What about you Peter “family guy” Constant? You going to sit on your hands again with Chucky?

  2. Sam is right.  We are destroying our environment—we need action now to reverse, not simply forestall, the impending consequences.

    This economy vs. environmental argument is bogus.  Without a habitable environment there is no economy.

  3. FROM the san jose .com article:

    “Liccardo says… “It doesn’t surprise me… The plastic industry gave all types of money to engage in plastics recycling efforts…It was essentially an effort to forestall the ban.”

    How much money Sam? Who took the money Sam? Why didn’t the palstic industry money, “sound like a bribe, ” Sam?  because you banned the bag even though you took the money, Sam?

  4. Sam acts ” incredulous” when the “city” Passed on taking action.
    Really?  Isn’t Sam part of the “city” passing on taking action? Is he incredulous with his own behavior? This is bizarro world. It’s like a person never cleaning their house, then they’re incredulous when someone points out the house is dirty.

    Clean your house Liccardo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *