The Virginia-based corporation that owns the Dollar Tree franchise has agreed to pay $2.72 million to settle a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court for routinely disposing of hazardous waste in an illegal fashion at their 480 retail locations in California.
The lawsuit filed by 45 California counties, including Alameda and Monterey, as well as two city attorney offices, alleged that Dollar Tree stores sent toxic materials, e-waste, corrosive or ignitable liquids and other hazardous waste to local landfills rather than authorized hazardous waste facilities.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement that disposing of hazardous materials in landfills can contaminate groundwater and could pose a long-term risk for future generations.
The lawsuit was filed after a statewide investigation in which inspections of Dollar Tree dumpsters revealed that retail locations around the state were systematically disposing of hazardous waste in an illegal fashion, according to prosecutors.
Dollar Tree cooperated with the investigation, prosecutors said, and they’ve implemented new training and procedures to dispose of hazardous waste in an appropriate fashion.
Spokesman Randy Guiler said in a statement that Dollar Tree, Inc., has worked closely with the State of California to develop a comprehensive program to ensure that employees are properly trained to handle and dispose of hazardous wastes in compliance with state law.