Target claims the hazardous waste lawsuit brought against it aims to stop the retailer giving away shampoo, hair spray and detergent products to communities in need.
The US supermarket chain is being accused by the state of California of not complying with the state’s laws regarding the disposal of hazardous waste.
According to the lawsuit, Target has disposed of hazardous materials, including, but not limited to, pool chlorine, pesticides and fertilizers, paints, varnishes and aerosol products, in facilities that, and to individuals who, were not registered to receive it.
In one case, the alleged disposal of pool chlorine in Sacramento County reacted with other substances in the trash compactor and led to the evacuation of the facility and the hospitalisation of a number of individuals, according to the lawsuit.
Target maintains its program of disposal for environmentally sensitive waste ‘not only meets but surpasses the requirements of California law’.
“We are disappointed that the California Attorney General has chosen to take this step,” said Target spokesperson Bethany Zucco.
“We have been participating in a cooperative and constructive dialogue on this topic with the Attorney General and a number of District Attorneys for almost three years, including providing access to our stores and distribution centers in an effort to resolve this issue.”
In addition, the supermarket claims that the move by the California Attorney General seeks to stop it from ‘donating products, such as detergent, shampoo and hair spray, to local charitable organizations in need of these resources’.
“We are disappointed that the relief [action] sought in the complaint would unnecessarily reduce our support of those members of our communities most in need and would require Target to send useful products to landfills,” said Zucco.
Cosmetics Design contacted Target for further details on the relationship between the donation program and the lawsuit but no one at the company was available for comment.