California’s Department of Justice stated Monday that it had filed a lawsuit against Walmart for allegedly disposing of hazardous garbage at a rate of “more than one million items per year.”
According to the complaint, Walmart illegally deposited 159,600 pounds of hazardous garbage every year in state landfills that aren’t suited to handle the goods, which include lithium batteries, insecticides, and cleaning products.
Walmart is also accused of breaking California environmental laws for the past six years, according to the complaint. Toxic trash in landfills has the potential to contaminate drinking water and the air.
Walmart is also accused of dumping “private customer information,” according to the California complaint.
“Despite repeated enforcements against Walmart over the past two decades, it consistently — and knowingly — fails to comply with California’s environmental protection laws,” said Dr. Meredith Williams, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control director.
This isn’t Walmart’s first legal fight in the Golden State. Walmart was fined $25 million by the California Attorney General’s Office in 2010 for unlawfully dumping of hazardous garbage. However, a check in 2015 discovered that Walmart was still dumping rubbish.
Walmart said in a release that it had completed the settlement’s criteria and that audits of its compactors showed it was “far cleaner than the state average.”
“We have met with the state numerous times and walked them through our industry-leading hazardous waste compliance programs in an effort to avoid litigation. Instead, they filed this unjustified lawsuit,” Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said.
“The state is demanding a level of compliance regarding waste disposal from our stores of common household products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law.”
According to the California Justice Department, dozens of materials containing hazardous waste were discovered “in each and every single case” during 58 inspections conducted between 2015 and currently.
(Adapted from CNN.com)