APRIL 2010

Plastics recycler pleads guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit

Tulip Corporation, of Niagara Falls, New York, pled guilty before United States District Chief Judge William M. Skretny, to a felony charge of knowingly storing hazardous waste without a permit. A charge which carries a maximum penalty of up to $50,000 per day of violation, a term of probation of 5 years or both.

Assistant United States Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who handled the case, stated that the defendant is a California corporation which is a plastics recycling company. One of the product lines at Tulip involves the re-processing and recycling of shredded battery casings into usable material. Tulip purchases and then re-processes the casings by washing, drying and extruding them. Some are contaminated with lead and therefore were hazardous materials.

From October 14, 2004, to July 11, 2007, casings contaminated with lead were occasionally stored outside at Tulip. The storage occurred due to breakdowns in the re-processing equipment and was outside at the direction of the defendant.

The storage of casings outside at Tulip increased in frequency beginning in or about January of 2007, and leading up to July 11, 2007. On July 11, 2007, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducted an inspection and observed approximately 80,000 lbs of casings being stored outside. Samples of the casings were taken by DEC and Tulip, which were analyzed for lead content. All of the samples were above the regulatory threshold for lead, and were therefore hazardous.