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Apple Will Pay Up To Settle Hazardous Waste Claims

December 6, 2016

Tim CookTim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an announcement of new products Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Cupertino, Calif. Marcio Jose Sanchez — AP

The California Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday said Apple agreed to pay $450,000 to settle state claims that it had mishandled hazardous electronic waste at facilities in Silicon Valley.

Apple also agreed to increase inspections to settle allegations about facilities in Cupertino and Sunnyvale, the Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control said. Apple was not immediately available to comment.

State regulators alleged Apple opened and operated an electronic waste shredding facility in its home town, Cupertino, between 2011 and 2012 without informing them. The department also alleged Apple mishandled metal dust from shredder operations at the Cupertino facility, which processed about 1.1 million pounds of waste before it was closed in January 2013.

Regulators also said that Apple subsequently opened another shredding facility in nearby Sunnyvale and processed 800,000 pounds of waste before notifying the regulators of the plant’s existence. At the Sunnyvale plant, regulators alleged, Apple took hazardous dust swept from the floor and sent it to a disposal site that was not authorized to handle toxic waste.

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The regulators also claim Apple did not properly report and track exports of hazardous waste and failed to mark used oil containers properly as hazardous waste.