Walmart Sued For Allegedly Dumping 1M Toxic Items A Year In California

Walmart Sued For Allegedly Dumping 1M Toxic Items A Year In California
hhach / Pixabay

Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) was sued by the state of California for allegedly disposing of more than one million hazardous items a year —or 80 tons— in landfills that are not equipped to handle the materials.

Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Seth Klarman’s 2021 Letter: Baupost’s “Never-Ending” Hunt For Information

Baupost's investment process involves "never-ending" gleaning of facts to help support investment ideas Seth Klarman writes in his end-of-year letter to investors. In the letter, a copy of which ValueWalk has been able to review, the value investor describes the Baupost Group's process to identify ideas and answer the most critical questions about its potential Read More


As reported by CNN, the lawsuit alleges that the giant retailer has illegally dumped more than one million hazardous items every year in landfills including lithium batteries, pesticides, and cleaning supplies.

The complaint further claims that Walmart has been breaking California environmental law in the last six years. According to state regulation, dumping toxic waste in landfills can affect drinking water and breathable air.

“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 California attorney general, Rob Bonta, said.

Dr. Meredith Williams, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control director, added: “Despite repeated enforcements against Walmart over the past two decades, it consistently — and knowingly — fails to comply with California's environmental protection laws.”

“Unjustified Lawsuit”

Company spokesman Randy Hargrove deemed the lawsuit “unjustified” and said Walmart would fight it: “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.”

“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,” he added.

Hargrove further said that Walmart’s trash compactors “are far cleaner than the state average,” after allegations of them “containing at most 0.4% of items of potential concern.”

Back in 2010, also in California, Walmart settled a similar lawsuit by paying $25 million and committing to not dumping toxic items in inadequate landfills. Five years later, however, inspections revealed the company had continued with the questionable practices.

Walmart is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.

Updated on

Cristian Bustos is senior editor for Previously, he was the news correspondent in Germany for Colombian radio broadcast Blu Radio, where he covered the 2017 German federal election and the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit. He was also public relations consultant to EY and HAYS, and has covered a wide range of topics including business, finance, and international relations, as well as verticals such as automotive, aerospace and renewable energy. Email him at [email protected]
Previous article EMA Pushes For Approval Of Novavax Vaccine
Next article CDC Director Walensky: Omicron Is Now About 73% Of The Virus Sequenced In The U.S.

No posts to display