TruGreen Chemlawn has been accused of illegal chemical dumping in various forms since the early 1990s. While the company has never been caught, former employees and other citizens in the areas where this company operates insist this is occurring.
TruGreen Chemlawn was created in 1973, and in 1992 was acquired by ServiceMaster. Since then the company has been accused numerous times of illegal chemical waste dumping in many of the areas in which it operates. A number of these accusations stem from former employees of TruGreen. The complaints against TruGreen Chemlawn from consumers are overwhelming and range from damaged trees, plants and grass on their properties, to having their lawn treated without ever contacting or agreeing for such services. This sneaky spraying is a form of dumping--the chemicals need to get off the truck and be distributed somewhere so your lawn in the dumping site of the day. Former employees suggest that because of TruGreen’s strict policies that their employees meet a certain amount of stops per month, workers often feel pressured to find consumers any way they can, even if this means spraying without one knowing and then requesting payment later on. TruGreen Chemlawn has also been accused of dumping overflow illegally as well as covering up spills. TruGreen objects to any wrongdoings or dumping taking place.
It’s rumored that a TruGreen's Fairfield, Ohio branch was investigated for dumping waste illegally into a creek that ran through one of its employee’s land. Supposedly TruGreen dumping takes place in this fashion. Employees that have empty land on their properties or a body of water of some sort are paid overtime during the weeks that an overflow or unused chemicals were dumped on the property. The problem with this is yes, it’s illegal to dump chemicals this way even if it’s private land however, when the dumping is taking place in a non-public place, it’s going to be extremely hard to catch; currently very little is being done to prove TruGreen Chemlawn is doing anything wrong because of this fact. A former employee of TruGreen Chemlawn in Ohio is rumored to have sent photos to the Department of Agriculture there in hopes of helping nab the company for illegal dumping. This happened back in 2002. These photos show a TruGreen ChemLawn truck dumping approximately 700 gallons of chemicals onto an employee’s property. This employee states that this happens every winter at this same location. The Environmental Protection Agency has never caught TruGreen.
According to a legal group that deals with environmental settlements online, it’s suspected that TruGreen Chemlawn is responsible for numerous occasions where chemical spills went unreported and cover-ups took place. Research shows that in Dakota County Minnesota alone, a pretty great number of chemical spills were reported in a 10-year span. These include incidences labeled as "valve malfunction," "hose leak" and "believed to be a tank transfer problem." A valve being turned the wrong way resulted in a 100-gallon spill, and other spills result in 5 gallons lost here, and 10 lost gallons there. People believe these small spills are often extra chemicals from the day that need to be emptied somewhere. While actual large scale dumping is not taking place these small "spills" are ways of distributing and covering its illegal disposal of chemicals.
Many environmental advocates speak out against TruGreen Chemlawn on a regular basis, insisting that it is dumping chemicals right in front of our very eyes. The chemicals used for the lawn treatment services TruGreen offers are linked to an increased risk of lymphoma, leukemia and brain cancer. TruGreen Chemlawn has made marketing ploys to parents who have children participating in the the U.S. Youth Soccer League. The fields that these kids play on everyday are sprayed with the very pesticides and fertilizers that can be causing major health issues among our children and some activists believe this type of dumping should be banned with the intention of protecting kids across the country.
Unfortunately chemical dumping takes place everyday. The unfortunate news is that many companies that dump their waste and chemicals have found ways to do it that prevents them getting caught by authorities. Chemicals are spread out on private properties on various days and times, small spills take place that can be covered up quickly and easily, and even if they are caught, the fine for an "accidental spill" is much less than the penalty for dumping huge amounts of chemicals illegally. If what people are accusing TruGreen Chemlawn of doing is true, then quite some time may go by before anything is done, simply because it will take that long to prove TruGreen guilty of chemical dumping. While the information available is useful, TruGreen has to be physically caught in the act of illegal dumping. If it is not, then its creative ways of dumping will continue.