Target Paying $7.4M to Settle California Waste Lawsuit

December 7, 2018

The Target store chain has agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle California allegations that it improperly dumped hazardous waste into landfills, ranging from batteries to drugs and syringes.

Minnesota-based Target didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing in the lawsuit settlement filed Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court.

The state and some two dozen local governments alleged that between 2012 and 2016, Target mishandled hazardous waste ranging from batteries and aerosol cans to fluorescent light bulbs.

Target issued a statement on Friday noting that the retailer has “made significant progress” in how it handles hazardous waste following a 2011 settlement with the state of California.

“We have enhanced team member training, store operations and auditing processes and we continue work to improve our operations to best manage disposing of items like batteries, hairspray and laundry detergent that require additional, special care under California laws,” the statement reads. “As part of our agreement with the California Attorney General and several District Attorneys, Target will pay $7.4 million, which includes supplemental investments in our business operations. Target also will remind team members on best practices for handling environmentally sensitive items, commit to regular third-party audits and upgrade to clear trash bags in our stores for easier visual inspections.”

Target will pay $3.2 million in fines, $3 million to conduct compliance inspections and audits of its trash facilities, plus additional money for environmental projects.

It’s the second settlement of allegations that Target violated hazardous waste rules. Under a 2011 settlement, Target agreed to pay $22.5 million in penalties, court fees and environmental funding.

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