Walmart sued in California for alleged dumping of hazardous waste

Walmart sued in California for alleged dumping of pesticides, other hazardous waste

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Walmart sued in California for alleged dumping of pesticides, other hazardous waste

A lawsuit filed by the California attorney general and a dozen district attorneys alleges Walmart has dumped nearly 80 tons of hazardous waste, plus confidential customer information, in California landfills each year over the last five years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Alameda County Superior Court, accuses the nation’s largest retailer of dumping pesticides, lithium batteries, insecticide, aerosol cans, cleaning supplies, electronic waste, paint and LED lightbulbs as well as confidential customer information in landfills throughout the state from more than 300 Walmart stores.

The lawsuit asks a judge to impose unspecified financial penalties against Walmart, which generated nearly $560 billion in revenue in the fiscal 2021.

In a statement, a Walmart spokesperson called the lawsuit “unjustified” and said the company has been meeting the obligations of a 2010 court-supervised settlement to better manage how it disposes of waste.

“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,” said the spokesperson Jacquelyn Cook. “We intend to defend the company.”

She added that Walmart is not aware of evidence behind the allegations that customer information has been disposed of improperly. “We take our customer information seriously and have processes in place to protect it,” Cook said.

In response to a civil enforcement action imposed by the state in 2010 over Walmart’s disposal of bleach, pesticides, and other hazardous waste, Walmart agreed to a stipulated resolution that included paying $24.6 million in penalties and a commitment to halt the unlawful dumping of hazardous waste in California landfills, according to the lawsuit.

Since 2015, California investigators said 58 inspections of trash compactors taken from Walmart stores found dozens of items classified as either hazardous waste, medical waste or customer records with personal information.

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