Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

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Dollar Tree Stores to Pay $2.72 Million Settlement for Environmental Violations

Dollar Tree Illegally Disposed of Hazardous Wastes at its Retail Stores and Distribution Centers

Oakland, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, together with 45 other California District Attorneys and 2 City Attorneys, announced today that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson has ordered Virginia corporation Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. to pay $2,720,000 in civil penalties, costs, and supplemental environmental projects. Dollar Tree Stores is also ordered to implement an improved hazardous waste compliance program at its retail stores and distribution centers in California.

The judgment is the result of an investigation into Dollar Tree Stores’ unlawful disposal into store trash bins of hazardous waste products. Ignitable and corrosive liquids, toxic materials, batteries, electronic devices and other e-waste, and other hazardous waste generated by circumstances including spills and damage, were illegally handled and disposed of at each of its stores and distribution centers, over 480 facilities in California. Instead of being transported to authorized hazardous waste facilities, the waste was illegally transported to local landfills not permitted to accept the waste.

Dollar Tree Stores, Inc, ordered to pay $2.72M in civil penalties, costs and supplemental environmental projects.

“Illegal disposal of hazardous waste in local landfills threatens to contaminate our groundwater and other waterways, posing serious health risks to our communities and future generations,” states DA O’Malley.

“Today’s settlement is a significant step toward protection of our environment and statewide public health,” she said.

The investigation included statewide inspections of Dollar Tree Stores’ dumpsters by inspectors from district attorney’s offices and other environmental regulators who discovered that Dollar Tree was routinely and systematically sending hazardous wastes to local landfills. Store inspections over the years also demonstrated Dollar Tree Stores routinely failed to properly handle and dispose of hazardous waste.

Prosecutors alerted Dollar Tree Stores to the widespread violations, and Dollar Tree Stores was cooperative throughout the continued investigation. Dollar Tree Stores adopted and implemented new policies and procedures and training programs designed to properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste. The hazardous waste is now being collected by state-registered haulers who transport it to authorized disposal facilities, and disposal is properly documented.

ADA Teresa Drenick
(510) 272-6280
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Posted on Apr 24, 2015