- Philadelphia-based cable company Comcast Corp. will pay the state of California $25.95 million for allegations of dumping electronics, considered hazardous waste, in state landfills. Allegations also stated the company had not properly protected private customer information when it destroyed some subscriber records.
- The state's four-year investigation into Comcast showed that, since 2005, Comcast warehouse and dispatch workers in Northern California unlawfully disposed of remote controls, modems, splitters and routers among other electronics.
- The multimillion dollar settlement becomes final pending court approval.
The issue of alleged illegal dumping of electronic waste has spurred attention globally, especially in areas of India and Africa. The issue has also spread across many electronics companies: for example, AT&T recently settled with California for similar violations.
Not only is the e-waste cleanup expensive, but improper disposal of e-waste can put others at risk, due to both cyber security and health concerns.
In the Comcast scenario, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, calling Comcast’s actions careless, said, "This agreement holds Comcast accountable for breaking the law and puts strict measures in place to prevent them from putting Californians and our environment at risk in the future."
Comcast spokesman Bryan Byrd, who said the company is "pleased to bring this matter from 2012 to a close," added, "We have devoted considerable time and resources toward our environmental compliance and have taken a number of steps to improve our practices."