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By Eli Walsh, Bay City News Foundation

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that the state has filed a lawsuit against Walmart over allegations it improperly disposed of hazardous waste.

The lawsuit alleges that Walmart disposed of items such as spray cans, alkaline and lithium batteries, insecticide sprays and confidential customer information at local landfills rather than at facilities licensed to receive these types of waste.

According to Bonta, Walmart has illegally disposed of some 159,600 pounds of hazardous waste each year for the past six years.

“The company’s behavior is unacceptable, and since it won’t clean up its act, we are suing Walmart,” Bonta said Monday during a briefing to announce the lawsuit.

State Department of Justice investigators inspected Walmart trash compactors 58 times in 13 counties between 2015 and this year, finding dozens of items classified as hazardous waste, according to Bonta.

The state has previously cited Walmart for improper hazardous waste disposal, reaching a $ 25 million deal with the company in 2010.

In a statement, Walmart called the lawsuit “unwarranted” and said the company is a “responsible corporate citizen” that obeys local, state and federal laws on environmental protection.

“The state requires a level of compliance regarding the disposal of waste from our stores of common household products and other items that goes beyond what is required by law,” Walmart said in its statement. “We intend to defend the company.

Bonta jointly filed the complaint with the California Department of Toxics Control and district attorneys in 12 counties, including Alameda, Monterey and Solano counties.

“Violations of California’s hazardous waste laws endanger workers and the integrity of our landfills and groundwater,” Monterey District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni said in a statement. “We are committed to bringing businesses into compliance with these laws to protect public safety. “

A copy of the lawsuit can be found at https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/attachments/press-docs/Walmart%20Complaint.pdf.

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