Target settles lawsuit over California waste disposal

San Diego -- Target Corp. was ordered by a California judge to pay $22.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the chain illegally disposed hazardous waste at hundreds of stores throughout the state, prosecutors said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

The settlement puts Target under tight scrutiny to ensure that it properly disposes waste at its nearly 300 stores in California, the report said.

Target was accused of violating procedures for handling toxic waste from 2002 until a few months after authorities filed the civil lawsuit in June 2009, said Tim Patterson, supervising deputy state attorney general.

Authorities said the Minneapolis-based retailer had no special procedures to dispose of goods such as oven cleaners, aerosols, paint and fertilizers. Companies are required to separate such hazardous items from regular waste.