The Cost of Improper Disposal of Waste and Sensitive Documents

Recently, California public inspectors discovered that several Home Depot stores were improperly disposing of hazardous waste as well as customer records. The terms of their roughly $28 million settlement will require the major retailer to pay penalties, finance environmental programs, and observe the laws that pertain to waste disposal. This is not the first time a big box company has been caught mishandling sensitive documents and waste, but the magnitude of the situation may spark some change in companies with lax disposal policies.

Where Did They Go Wrong?

While The Home Depot was compliant and cooperative throughout the legal process involving their irresponsible waste disposal, it will take years to undo the civil and environmental damage. Home Depot stores throughout California were habitually discarding of:

  • Electronic waste
  • Pesticides, paints, solvents, and other toxic materials
  • Fluorescent bulbs containing mercury
  • Intact customer records

Lessons That Have Yet to Be Learned

In recent years, California has seen a number of cases involving improper disposal of electronics and hazardous material. Early in 2018, AutoNation was obligated to pay a settlement of $3.4 million which involved 57 of its dealerships and collision centers. Other settlements involving large organizations for allegations of improper disposal of electronic and hazardous waste include DirecTV for $9.5 million, Big Lots for $3.5 million, and Dollar General for $1 million. Some of the largest settlements in California for improper electronic and hazardous waste disposal involved AT&T which agreed to a $52 million settlement in 2014 and Comcast for $26 million in 2015.

Proper Waste Disposal for Your Business

To avoid the legal debacle that The Home Depot, as well as other businesses, have encountered due to negligent dumping, you should seek help from a professional waste company. Cal Micro Recycling provides various disposal services to secure your customer and employee information in addition to preventing environmental damage:

For more information about how to properly dispose of sensitive paper documents, hazardous glass, and electronic waste, please call Cal Micro Recycling at 909.572.1661.

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