Walmart Sued for Allegedly Dumping Toxic Waste

On December 20, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a lawsuit against Walmart for allegedly illegally dumping more than 1 million batteries, aerosol cans, cleaning supplies, electronic waste, and other hazardous waste into California landfills annually.

In the lawsuit, Bonta accuses the massive retailer of not following protocol when disposing of hazardous waste. ‘When a big box store disposes of unwanted goods, just like the rest of us, they need to do so properly. Unfortunately, Walmart, the largest company in the world by revenue, has failed to do that on a grand scale here in California.’

The state reportedly conducted 58 inspections across 13 counties of trash compactors at Walmart stores between 2015 and 2021. Bonta said they found hazardous waste, medical waste, or consumer records during every inspection.

Meredith Williams, director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, talked of the dangers of these materials during a news conference. ‘Pesticides, electronics, household hazardous waste must be disposed of properly, or they can be released into our air, our water, and soil, resulting in a number of negative health outcomes, including cancer, neurological disorders, asthma, or learning disabilities.’

A Walmart spokesperson called the suit ‘unjustified,’ and says the state is demanding levels of compliance that go beyond the scope of the law.

Meanwhile, Walmart reportedly settled similar lawsuits in California in 2010 and Missouri in 2012.