June 20, 2019—AutoZone reached an $11 million settlement over illegal dumping of materials, including motor oil and automotive fluids.
KESQ reports that the company settled in a lawsuit brought by the Riverside County District Attorney and the California Attorney General.
"AutoZone is charged with illegally disposing of millions of hazardous waste items, including used motor oil and automotive fluids, at landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste," according to a news release from Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin.
Hestrin's office made 56 inspections of dumpster bins at 49 California AutoZones from 2013 to 2015 and found the illegally dumped materials, which were destined for landfills. The dumpsters contained things like batteries, aerosol cans, electronic devices, and hundreds of discarded bottles and other receptacles containing automotive fluids and other regulated hazardous waste, according to the release.
"These investigative efforts revealed that AutoZone allowed its customers to deposit hazardous automotive fluids and other waste items into regular trash containers in AutoZone stores’ parking lots throughout California," the release said.
The dumpsters also contained customer records with personal information still visible.
The settlement funds are for civil penalties, environmental projects, investigations and legal fees.