California sues Walmart for allegedly dumping hazardous waste “Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

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The state of California, through its attorney general, has filed a lawsuit accusing Walmart of allegedly illegally dumping hazardous waste in landfills across the state. The 42-page document directly implicates Walmart for dumping 160,000 pounds of hazardous waste each year for the past six years. Some of the items that would be disposed of by the retailer include insecticide sprays, lithium batteries, spray cans and LED bulbs.

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The giant retailer is accused of violating California environmental laws by dumping hazardous waste into landfills that are not equipped to handle such waste. Attorney General Rob Bonta and 12 other California prosecutors are working together on the allegations.

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“Walmart’s own audits found that the company dumps hazardous waste in local landfills at a rate of more than one million items each year. From there, these products can enter the state’s drinking water as toxic pollutants or into the air as dangerous gases, ”Bonta said in a statement.

In his defense, the Walmart spokesman said the company would defend itself and the lawsuit was “unwarranted”, according to NPR.

“We have met with the Crown on several occasions and explained our industry-leading hazardous waste compliance programs to them in an effort to avoid litigation. Instead, they filed this unwarranted complaint, ”Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said. “The state requires a level of compliance regarding the disposal of waste from our stores of common household products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law. “

This isn’t the first time the retail industry has found itself in a hot soup for waste disposal mismanagement. In 2010, the company entered into a $ 25 million settlement agreement with the California attorney general’s office for the illegal disposal of hazardous waste. According to the attorney general’s office, investigations have proven that the illegal dumping of waste has continued since then.

“Walmart is a responsible corporate citizen in California and wherever we do business. We take our obligation to protect the environment seriously and have advanced processes in place to comply with local, state and federal environmental laws, ”said Hargrove.

Via NPR and CNN

Main image via Unsplash

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