Retail giant Macy's has been ordered to pay $1.6 million for environmental violations across its 98 California stores, including three in Riverside County, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's office.
The settlement was announced this week in a lawsuit filed by district attorneys from 25 California counties and two city attorneys. The lawsuit alleged that instead of properly storing and disposing of hazardous waste at authorized hazardous waste facilities, Macy's "illegally disposed of hazardous waste in regular trash bins and illegally transported it to local landfills, which are not permitted to receive such waste products," according to the Riverside County District Attorney's office.
The hazardous waste included batteries, electronic devices, ignitable liquids, and "other flammable, reactive, toxic, and corrosive materials."
The complaint stems from an investigation of this unlawful disposal of hazardous waste "over the last several years" at the 98 Macy's stores in California, including three stores in Riverside County.
The three Macy's in Riverside County are the Palm Desert location in the Westfield mall, as well as locations in Moreno Valley and the city of Riverside.
Riverside County will receive $157,000 in civil penalties and $36,800 in cost reimbursement as part of the settlement, and the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health will also receive $25,750 in civil penalties and $10,000 in cost reimbursement.
Macy's has since implemented "improved policies and procedures" and improved training programs on how to properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste, which is now collected by authorized haulers to transport it to the proper hazardous waste disposal facilities.
The news of the Macy's settlement comes two weeks after Kaiser Permanente agreed to a $49 million settlement for illegally disposing of hazardous medical waste in unsecured dumpsters.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Macy's ordered to pay $1.6 million for unlawful hazardous waste disposal