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County, state file lawsuit against Walmart alleging illegal disposal of hazardous waste

Company denies allegations, says they are 'responsible corporate citizen'

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that the state has filed a lawsuit against Walmart over allegations that it has improperly disposed of hazardous waste.

(Stock image)

The lawsuit alleges that Walmart has disposed of items like aerosol cans, alkaline and lithium batteries, insect killer sprays and confidential customer information in local landfills rather than facilities that are authorized to receive those types of waste.

According to Bonta, Walmart is estimated to have illegally disposed of some 159,600 pounds of hazardous waste each year for the past six years.

"The company's behavior is unacceptable, and since it won't clean up its act, we're taking Walmart to court," Bonta said Monday during a briefing to announce the lawsuit.

Investigators with the state Department of Justice inspected Walmart trash compactors on 58 occasions across 13 counties between 2015 and this year, finding dozens of items classified as hazardous waste, according to Bonta.

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The state has previously cited Walmart for improperly disposing hazardous waste, coming to a $25 million settlement with the company in 2010.

"Walmart is a repeat offender of California’s hazardous waste laws and this case underscores the importance of dedicating prosecutorial resources to the protection of our environment," Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, whose office joins in the lawsuit, said on Monday.

"The environmental protection division of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office will continue to make efforts to ensure that any business in this county found to have violated hazardous waste laws will be investigated, and, when appropriate, brought to justice," O'Malley added.

In a statement, Walmart called the lawsuit "unjustified" and argued the company is a "responsible corporate citizen" that complies with local, state and federal environmental protection laws.

"The state is demanding a level of compliance regarding waste disposal from our stores of common house-hold products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law," Walmart said in its statement. "We intend to defend the company."

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Joining in the lawsuit are the district attorneys of Fresno, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Solano, Tulare and Yolo counties.

O'Malley said Monday that her office would be launching a public outreach campaign on the subject, "where we will work with businesses, local chambers of commerce, and other organizations to remind businesses of their obligations in terms of disposing waste and following the law."

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.

Editor's note: Pleasanton Weekly editor Jeremy Walsh contributed to this report.

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County, state file lawsuit against Walmart alleging illegal disposal of hazardous waste

Company denies allegations, says they are 'responsible corporate citizen'

by Eli Walsh / BCN Foundation /

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 21, 2021, 1:42 pm

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that the state has filed a lawsuit against Walmart over allegations that it has improperly disposed of hazardous waste.

The lawsuit alleges that Walmart has disposed of items like aerosol cans, alkaline and lithium batteries, insect killer sprays and confidential customer information in local landfills rather than facilities that are authorized to receive those types of waste.

According to Bonta, Walmart is estimated to have illegally disposed of some 159,600 pounds of hazardous waste each year for the past six years.

"The company's behavior is unacceptable, and since it won't clean up its act, we're taking Walmart to court," Bonta said Monday during a briefing to announce the lawsuit.

Investigators with the state Department of Justice inspected Walmart trash compactors on 58 occasions across 13 counties between 2015 and this year, finding dozens of items classified as hazardous waste, according to Bonta.

The state has previously cited Walmart for improperly disposing hazardous waste, coming to a $25 million settlement with the company in 2010.

"Walmart is a repeat offender of California’s hazardous waste laws and this case underscores the importance of dedicating prosecutorial resources to the protection of our environment," Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, whose office joins in the lawsuit, said on Monday.

"The environmental protection division of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office will continue to make efforts to ensure that any business in this county found to have violated hazardous waste laws will be investigated, and, when appropriate, brought to justice," O'Malley added.

In a statement, Walmart called the lawsuit "unjustified" and argued the company is a "responsible corporate citizen" that complies with local, state and federal environmental protection laws.

"The state is demanding a level of compliance regarding waste disposal from our stores of common house-hold products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law," Walmart said in its statement. "We intend to defend the company."

Joining in the lawsuit are the district attorneys of Fresno, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Solano, Tulare and Yolo counties.

O'Malley said Monday that her office would be launching a public outreach campaign on the subject, "where we will work with businesses, local chambers of commerce, and other organizations to remind businesses of their obligations in terms of disposing waste and following the law."

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here.

Editor's note: Pleasanton Weekly editor Jeremy Walsh contributed to this report.

Comments

Tim
Registered user
Livermore
on Dec 22, 2021 at 9:42 am
Tim, Livermore
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 9:42 am

Walmart says: ""The state is demanding a level of compliance regarding waste disposal from our stores of common house-hold products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law,.."

This is complete nonsense. I was hazmat disposal person at UC San Francisco and we had to dispose of ALL batteries, chemicals (including cleaning materials) etc as hazardous materials. We had very strict guidelines as to what could go in the regular trash. Walmart is just trying to save money by not disposing of these things properly. This is just the typical irresponsible corporate strategy to ignore laws if they can get away with it. Well, they got caught and now must face the consequences.


David
Registered user
Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Dec 23, 2021 at 2:36 pm
David, Walnut Grove Elementary School
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2021 at 2:36 pm

I wouldn't want to be the attorney defending Walmart. As mentioned above: nonsense.


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