Costco sued for hazmat violations

Retailer settles for $3.6 million, complies with hazardous-waste guidelines

Big box sued for hazmat violations

Costco, the sixth-largest retailer in the United States, settled a lawsuit filed by 29 district attorneys for improperly handling hazardous materials at dozens of outlets in California.

Costco agreed to pay $3.6 million rather than fight the lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, accusing the company of failing to label or sort oven cleaner, bleach, pool chlorine, nicotine patches and batteries that sat unsold on shelves or were returned by customers, according to The offenses occurred over a five-year period in which the products were thrown in the trash or left in stores indefinitely despite state law requiring proper disposal of all hazardous materials within 90 days.

“As a result of this investigation and prosecution, regulated waste produced by Costco stores in California must now be properly stored, handled, transported and disposed of,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.