All 19 Target stores in San Diego County are involved in the lawsuit which basically claims that more than 200 Target stores don't throw stuff away in the correct and legal manner.
"Target officials were warned years ago of the unlawful practice, but decided to illegally dump the hazardous waste anyway," District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis said. "They had a conscious disregard for the protection of human health and the environment and now they must be held accountable."
Kmart recently settled similar charges for $8.65 million.
The trash in question includes bleaches, pool chlorine, pesticides, fertilizers, paints and varnishes, lamp oil and other ignitable liquids, aerosol products, oven cleaners and various other cleaning agents, automotive products and solvents, as well as other flammable and corrosive materials.
Just like at home, some of above list will spill, break, expire or become damaged enough so that it can't be used.
“Hazardous waste was also disposed of by passing on damaged and unusable items through donations to charities,” DA Dumanis said.
The suit says the collective volume of hazardous waste generated by Target facilities is "significant." It claims Target failed to dispose of it correctly for the past eight years.
The lawsuit would "require Target to immediately comply with California law and start using a licensed hazardous waste hauler to pick up the waste and transport it to a hazardous waste disposal facility."
The suit seeks $25,000 for each violation -- a bill which could pile up faster than trash at a landfill if the state can back up its charges.
A spokesperson for Target said late Monday it is committed to protecting the health and safety of its guests, team members and communities, as well as maitaining compliance with environmental laws. And says it has a best in class program for proper handling and disposal of environmentally sensitive products.