Dollar Tree Illegally Disposed of Hazardous Wastes at its Retail Stores and Distribution Centers
(Woodland, CA) - April 24, 2015 - District Attorney Jeff W. Reisig, together with 45 other California District Attorneys and two City Attorneys, announced today that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson has ordered Virginia Corporation Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. to pay $2.72 million in civil penalties, costs, and supplemental environmental projects. Dollar Tree Stores also agreed to implement an improved hazardous waste compliance program at its retail stores and distribution centers in California. As a result of its investigation and prosecution in this case, Yolo County will receive $129,000 in civil penalties and $35,000 in costs.
The judgment is the result of an investigation into Dollar Tree Stores’ disposal of hazardous waste products into store trash bins. Dollar Tree improperly handled and disposed of ignitable and corrosive liquids, toxic materials, batteries, electronic devices and other electronic-waste, and other hazardous waste generated by circumstances including spills and damage. This occurred at each of its stores and distribution centers, over 480 facilities in California. Instead of being transported to authorized hazardous waste facilities, Dollar Tree employees transported the waste to local landfills not permitted to accept the waste.
District Attorney Reisig stated, “Retailers have been on notice for almost a decade that we will vigorously enforce California’s hazardous waste laws,” Reisig continued, “Today’s settlement is a significant step toward protection of our environment and statewide public health.”
The investigation included statewide inspections of Dollar Tree Stores’ dumpsters by inspectors from district attorney’s offices and other environmental regulators who discovered that Dollar Tree was sending hazardous wastes to local landfills. Store inspections over the years also demonstrated Dollar Tree Stores failed to properly handle and dispose of hazardous waste. Prosecutors alerted Dollar Tree Stores to the widespread violations, and Dollar Tree Stores was cooperative throughout the continued investigation. Dollar Tree Stores adopted and implemented new policies, procedures and training programs designed to properly manage the disposal of hazardous waste. The hazardous waste is now being collected by state-registered haulers who transport it to authorized disposal facilities, and disposal is properly documented.