Apple To Pay $450,000 After Allegations of Hazardous Waste Violations

Apple has agreed to pay $450,000 as part of a settlement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, which alleged it found hazardous waste violations at two electronic waste shredding facilities that the tech firm operated without initially informing the state.

Apple suggested Tuesday that the violations were due to an oversight in filing the proper paperwork and that its safety standards at both plants had never put the public at risk. But the department claimed the tech firm had violated the state's health and safety codes.

"Compliance with the hazardous waste law is fundamental in protecting the health of workers and communities as well as the environment," said Keith Kihara, chief of DTSC's enforcement division, in a statement. "We are encouraged by the settlement and that Apple is working with us to take the necessary steps to comply with California's hazardous waste law."

From 2011 to 2012, Apple processed 1.1 million pounds of electronic waste at a Cupertino facility on Tantau Avenue without DTSC's knowledge. The company closed the facility in January 2013 and moved its operations to a facility in Sunnyvale, where workers processed 803,518 pounds of electronic waste before Apple informed the state of the plant's existence, according to a complaint filed on behalf of the agency.

After the DTSC inspected the Sunnyvale facility in June 2013, it discovered that Apple produced a fine dust that also was vacuumed from the floors and then shipped to a recycling facility in Roseville. The department tested the dust and waste collected from the floors and found it contained hazardous levels of copper, zinc and other particles.

The recycling plant in Roseville isn't authorized to handle hazardous waste, but the plant didn't know the waste was hazardous because Apple didn't properly label the shipments.

DTSC also found out, after reviewing Apple's record, that the tech...

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