The auto part retailer Pep Boys will pay $3.7 million for violating state laws and illegally throwing hazardous waste in dumpsters.
Investigators and environmental regulators conducted a series of undercover inspections of waste bins originating at 19 separate Pep Boys facilities in California.
It found that Pep Boys employees were routinely and illegally throwing automotive fluids, batteries, aerosol cans, electronic devices and other hazardous waste in dumpsters destined for municipal landfills, according to a release by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
Pep Boys also failed to shred customer records, which contained confidential information, before throwing the documents in the trash, according to the release.
The investigation took place from April 2014 through November 2017.
Moving foward, Pep Boys will undergo a trash receptacle audit to ensure hazardous waste and confidential consumer information is properly disposed of at all facilities.
Pep Boys is an automotive service retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts, accessories, and engine additives in North America. In California it owns or operates approximately 151 retail facilities and a distribution center. There are 14 Pep Boys facilities in San Diego County.