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Target agrees to pay $7.4M in California waste dumping case

The retailer was accused of dumping hazardous materials in landfills.

Target has agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle a case of alleged illegal dumping in California.

The Minneapolis-based retailer agreed to pay the sum, which includes $3.2 million in fines, to settle a lawsuit with the state of California.

It comes after the state accused Target of improperly disposing of hazardous materials, including electronics, batteries, aerosol cans, and CFL light bulbs, in landfills between 2012 and 2016.

It also disposed of medical waste, such as syringes, medicines and confidential medical information about customers, in landfills.

Target didn't acknowledge any wrongdoing in the settlement, and in a statement to BMTN said that it had made improvements to its processes since the suit arose.

"We’ve made significant progress in the way we handle hazardous waste following our 2011 settlement with the state of California," a company spokesperson said.

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"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.

"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."

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