FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Bed Bath & Beyond has been ordered to pay $1,498,750 to settle a civil prosecution that alleged its stores broke the law by taking batteries, flammable liquids and other toxic materials to California landfills not authorized to receive such items.
The settlement, worked between the company and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, along with 30 other DA’s office across the state and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, is a culmination of a civil enforcement lawsuit filed last month.
The suit alleged that more than 200 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, including its subsidiaries Cost Plus, buybuy BABY, Harmon, Harmon Face Values, World Market, and Cost Plus World Market, broke the law by taking batteries, electronic devices, ignitable liquids, aerosol products, cleaning agents, and other flammable, reactive, toxic, and corrosive materials, to local landfills not authorized to dispose of such waste materials, the Fresno County DA’s Office said.
The investigation was started by the Ventura County DA’s office after two separate waste fires occured in Oxnard that were traced back to a Bed Bath & Beyond store that improperly handled and disposed of hazardous waste, including lithium batteries, a small can of lighter fluid, broken compact florescent bulbs and various discarded electronic devices.
One blaze occured at a waste transfer facility and another occured in a trash compactor behind the Oxnard Bed Bath & Beyond store.
Following the fires, district attorney’s and city attorney’s offices teamed up with local environmental regulatory officials and found Bed Bath & Beyond routinely and systematically sent hazardous waste materials from its stores to local landfills throughout California.
Bed Bath & Beyond has since taken steps to improve its regulated-waste management program by performing regular self-audits of its compactors and waste bins.
Under the final judgement, the retailer must pay $1,327,500 in civil penalties and as reimbursement for investigation and prosecution costs. The company will also pay $171,250 to fund supplemental environmental projects in California.
Bed Bath & Beyond will also be subject to the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting future violations of the law.