MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 68-year-old Twin Cities business owner is accused of improperly disposing of waste by knowingly throwing crushed glass from TVs and computer monitors into standard garbage, according to charges filed Friday in Hennepin County Court.
Curtis Weston Hilleren was charged with one felony count of unlawful disposal of a hazardous waste in connection with the incident. Hilleren is the general manager of Electronic Salvage Industries, LLC, which is based out of Hopkins.
According to a complaint, the Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services learned that on Aug. 29, 2011, Hilleren put crushed glass from television sets and computer monitors into a roll-off box that was later dumped at a landfill.
Hilleren’s company states it provides recycling for all types of electronic equipment, that it exceeds state and federal regulations to keep the community protected and that they follow a strict “no land fill policy,” according to the complaint.
The complaint states it is illegal to throw away television sets and computers with cathode ray tubes into a typical trash can because they contain a large amount of lead. If it’s disposed improperly, lead in the environment can pollute air and water and pose a threat to wildlife and human health.
When contacted by authorities, Hilleren said “I screwed up,” according to the complaint. Hilleren estimated that he had improperly dumped between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds of waste.
If convicted, Hilleren faces up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.