Walmart is standing by its practices when it comes to eliminating its waste.
California is in hot pursuit of Walmart Inc. for alleged hazardous waste dumping in municipal landfills totaling more than 80 tons annually. The state filed a lawsuit Monday in an Alameda court with a 42-page document outlining the retailer’s alleged missteps. But the retail giant isn’t having it.
In a statement issued soon after, which called the lawsuit “unjustified,” the company wrote in a formal statement online, and in an email to WWD: “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.”
Further, the company said California’s demands around common household goods disposal stretch “beyond what is required by law,” in making a point to defend itself.
Walmart underlined its compliance with environmental laws at every tier while stressing its embodiment of a responsible corporate citizen everywhere it operates, taking its obligation to protect the environment “seriously.”
Per the statement, the retailer went on to summarize its steps since a roughly $25 million settlement between the state of California and Walmart in 2010 over alleged wrongdoings regarding dumped hazardous waste at stores throughout the state.
Admitting some prior fault, Walmart said, “Since 2010, we met the requirements of a court supervised settlement requiring the proper disposal of common consumer products such as lip balm, empty shampoo bottles, aerosol cans and loose AA batteries. We worked with the California Attorney General, District Attorneys and the Court to build and maintain our comprehensive hazardous waste compliance programs. In 2018, the Court agreed ‘that Walmart had done so close to everything that’s required that nothing more can be required…’ Yet, as the Court was prepared to relieve Walmart of its obligations under the settlement, the Attorney General’s office launched a new investigation with new rules in hopes that Walmart would enter another settlement requiring another substantial financial payment.”
Walmart also cited in the statement the more than 3,800 environmental store inspections by state regulators since 2010, with the results concluding no imposed fines on the retailer for violations of California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law.
The retailer said this further proves “the effectiveness of our hazardous waste programs.”
“Audits of our compactor waste conducted or overseen by the California Attorney General have shown the waste in our compactors contain at most 0.4 percent of items of potential concern they’ve identified. The statewide average is 3 [percent] based on a CalRecycle statewide solid waste study, so Walmart’s compactors are far cleaner than the state average,” the retailer contended.