Businessman sentenced in illegally dumping hazardous wastes

Monday, October 22, 2012

The president of an electronics salvaging company pleaded guilty to unlawful handling of hazardous wastes and was sentenced to community service, fines and restitution of $5,000.

Curtis Weston Hilleren, 68, of St. Louis Park pleaded guilty to the single charge July 23. Hennepin County District Court Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum two weeks ago sentenced Hilleren to pay restitution of $5,000 to the Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services, which investigated the case.

In addition, he was fined $15,000, but $12,000 was stayed and will not have to be paid if he meets all of the other requirements of his sentence during the next three years. Finally, because of his age and physical condition, Hilleren was sentenced to 160 hours of community service, rather than serving 20 days in the Hennepin County Workhouse.

Hilleren is the general manager of Electronic Salvage Industries, LLC in Hopkins. The environmental services department received a complaint Aug. 29, 2011 that Hilleren had placed about 3,000 pounds of crushed glass from television sets and computer monitors into a roll-off box that was to be dumped at a landfill, according to the criminal complaint that was filed in April.

It is illegal to discard television sets and computer monitors with cathode ray tubes in the trash because they contain a large amount of lead. If disposed of improperly, lead in the environment can pollute air and water, harm wildlife and pose a threat to human health, particularly the brain development of children.