California Gets Tough On Hazardous Waste

A judge in Oakland, California has ordered the drugstore chain Walgreens to pay a fine of over sixteen and a half million dollars against claims that more than six hundred Walgreens locations in the state illegally dumped hazardous pharmaceutical waste endangering the environment and the people residing in the areas where the improper dumping occurred.

The claim against the drugstore chain was filed by the district attorney’s office after inspections of waste disposal and trash bins at several Walgreens locations revealed hazardous and medical wasted mixed in with standard garbage. The lawsuit was filed over the summer and the settlement was recently reached.

The district attorney charged the stores with illegally disposing of toxic and hazardous chemicals including bleach, paint, pesticides, and pharmaceutical waste. Stores were also charged with disposing of customer’s confidential medical information in an illegal manner. Walgreens settled the case and did not acknowledge any wrongdoing stating that the company ships all hazardous waste to a specialized disposal facility which incinerates the material.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: It’s a good idea to routinely look through what your employees put out in the trash. Sometimes, you can spot ways to save money by noticing recyclables – but other times, it can save you from fines and charges related to illegally disposing of hazardous waste!