Walmart Sued for Dumping Hazardous Waste in California

Walmart Sued for Dumping Hazardous Waste in California

Walmart, the largest retail company worldwide in 2019, has been sued by the California authorities for dumping hazardous waste compliance in California landfills for the last five years. The company has been dumping its hazardous waste for the past two decades and is violating the rules and regulations formed by California for large retail companies. They said that there are many more large retail companies who have been following the set of rules and not dumping their waste in the California landfills and clean rivers.

The waste that the company illegally released in the California landfills was around 80 tons or 160,000 pounds of hazardous waste containing 1 million items in each year over the last six years. California Attorney General Rob Banta and 12 California district attorneys filed a lawsuit against the Walmart company for violating the environmental laws and set of rules and regulations by dumping waste in the landfills. The dumping waste contains materials that landfills can’t handle such as lithium batteries, insecticides, pesticides, aerosol cans, electronic wastes, paint and LED lightbulbs, etc. 

The lawsuit also claims that the dumped waste also contains “customers’ confidential information” after checking the landfills.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Walmart in the last two decades

This lawsuit isn’t the first one to be filed against Walmart Company in the several past years or we should say last two decades. But still, the company hasn’t shown any improvement in following the set of rules and continued to do this illegal practice. Walmart has paid a huge amount of penalties in past years for violating the rules.

  • In the year 2010, California Attorney General’s office received a settlement of $ 25 million from the retail giant for dumping the hazardous waste in the California landfills illegally.
  • It paid around $1.25 million to Missouri in 2012 for the settlement of a similar suit.
  • In 2013, the company again paid a settlement of $81 million for discharging a pollutant into the drains in 16 California counties and it also included the charges of Missouri.
  • In the year 2015, a new lawsuit was filed against the company nearly after 60 inspections of Walmart trash transfers where they again found that the company continued to dump hazardous waste, medical waste, and customers’ confidential information in the California landfills. 

The state is demanding a level of compliance for dumping the waste products that include common household products and other waste items that violate the rules and regulations formed in the state of California, Spokesperson Jacquelyn cook said in her statement. She added that the customer records’ with confidential information have not been disposed of completely.

“We should take customer information seriously and be aware enough to protect it”,

the cook said in his statement.

Walmart said the new set of rules and regulations are really tough for the retail companies and aren’t possible to get followed. At this, they said that the other large retail companies are following the rules and regulations properly without any violation. Therefore, the lawsuit asks the judge to impose unspecified financial penalties on the company as the revenue of Walmart was $560 billion in 2021.

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