Attorney General Bonta and District Attorney O'Malley Announce Settlement Against DISH for Illegal Disposal of Hazardous Waste

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley today announced a settlement with DISH Network California Service Corporation (DISH) for the illegal disposal and mismanagement of hazardous waste. As part of the settlement, DISH will be required to pay $5.5 million for penalties, costs, and supplemental environmental projects to benefit the community and make significant changes to its operations and practices to come into compliance with state law. 

“If you break the rules, we will hold you accountable,” said Attorney General Bonta. “For years, DISH carelessly disposed of and sent hazardous waste to local landfills, ignoring the consequences for our communities and our environment. From there, hazardous chemical elements from electronic devices, batteries, aerosols, and more could seep into soil and contaminate our environment. Today’s settlement is critical. Large corporations like DISH have a responsibility to respect our environmental laws and do their part to protect our state's precious resources.”

“My Office is committed to holding corporate polluters accountable for violations of state environmental laws,” said District Attorney O’Malley. “Hazardous electronic waste is ubiquitous, and everyone must do their part to keep these items out of the landfill, especially large corporations who handle high volumes of electronic waste.”

DISH provides satellite video services to residential and business customers in California. In providing these services, DISH employees manage large volumes of electronic equipment, such as remote controls, transformers, and power adapters, various batteries, aerosol cans, and other items classified as hazardous waste. 

Since 2005, DISH is alleged to have violated California’s environmental laws and regulations by illegally disposing of hazardous waste and sending the hazardous waste to local landfills that are not equipped or authorized to receive this type of waste. Audits of DISH facilities in California over multiple years found that DISH repeatedly disposed of these objects in trash bins destined for municipal landfills in violation of the Hazardous Waste Control Law and Unfair Competition Law.

Today's settlement requires DISH to make significant changes to its operations and practices to come into compliance with state law. Specifically, DISH must: 

  • Pay $5.5 million, including $3.32 million in civil penalties, $835,500 in litigation costs, and $845,000 for supplemental environmental projects. DISH must also spend $500,000 to implement enhanced environmental compliance measures to ensure proper management of hazardous waste at its California facilities.
  • Hire an independent third-party auditor to perform environmental compliance audits at DISH’s 25 facilities across the state;
  • Conduct regular inspections of facility trash dumpsters and roll-off containers to ensure the containers do not contain hazardous waste; and
  • Provide training to employees to ensure compliance with California's hazardous waste laws.

Attorney General Bonta and District Attorney O'Malley are committed to holding corporate polluters accountable for violations of state environmental laws. In December, Attorney General Bonta and District Attorney O'Malley, along with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and 11 other district attorneys, filed a statewide lawsuit against Walmart for the illegal disposal of hazardous waste. According to results from Walmart’s own inspections, the California Department of Justice estimates the company unlawfully disposes of approximately 159,600 pounds – or more than one million items – of hazardous waste in California each year.

A copy of the settlement can be found here.

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