.

Lowe's to Pay $18.1 Mil to Settle Accusations of Sending Hazardous Waste to Local Landfills

The inspections showed that at some stores, instead of recycling batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs, employees were unlawfully discarding the items directly into the trash.

Lowe's will pay various counties throughout California $18.1 million for mishandling hazardous waste. Patch file photo.
Lowe's will pay various counties throughout California $18.1 million for mishandling hazardous waste. Patch file photo.

Originally posted at 1:37 p.m. April 2, 2014. Edited to add new details.

Lowe's will pay $18.1 million to settle a civil enforcement action claiming 118 of its California stores unlawfully handled and disposed of hazardous waste over a six-and-a-half year period, authorities in Los Angeles announced today.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office worked with 31 other state district attorneys and two city attorneys to resolve the environmental violations against North Carolina-based Lowe's Home Centers LLC.

Between 2011 and 2013, investigators conducted a series of waste inspections of Lowe's dumpsters. The inspections revealed that Lowe's was routinely and systematically sending hazardous waste to local landfills in California that were not permitted to receive it, prosecutors said.

The inspections showed that at some Lowe's stores, instead of recycling batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs that the company had gathered from customers at store recycling kiosks as part of a program to responsibly reduce waste, employees were unlawfully discarding the items directly into the trash, according to prosecutors.

Under the final judgment, Lowe's must pay $12.85 million in civil penalties and costs. An additional $2.1 million will fund supplemental environmental projects furthering environmental protection and enforcement in California, and Lowe's will fund hazardous waste minimization projects of $3.2 million.

The Orange County will receive a portion of the settlement, broken down in this way, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office:

  • OC Prosecutor Civil Penalties - $118,000
  • OC Agency Civil Penalties - $61,000
  • OC Agency Costs - $1,125
  • OC Prosecutor Costs - 2,500

--City News Service

Patch Senior Local Editor Penny Arévalo contributed to this report.

Rose Tingle April 02, 2014 at 11:17 PM
I love it when I see karma work.
Shripathi Kamath April 03, 2014 at 10:59 AM
I thought corporations were people. People would have done some time behind bars for this. Thanks, Obama.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »