Shocking News About Your Old Computer

target-store-logoA California judge has ordered retail giant Target Corp. to stop illegally disposing products containing hazardous wastes.

The court injunction stems from a civil lawsuit filed in Alameda County last year by state and local authorities against Target for allegedly crushing batteries, telephones and computers in the trash compactors to avoid costly hazardous waste disposal fees. The suit accuses 240 of the chain’s stores around the state of improperly disposing hazardous materials in landfills over a five-year period.

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A California judge ordered Target Corp. to pay $22.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the retailer illegally disposed hazardous waste at hundreds of stores throughout the state, prosecutors said Thursday.

Target violated 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.

Alameda Superior Court Judge Steven Brick ordered the settlement Wednesday with the state, 21 county district attorneys and city attorneys for San Diego and Los Angeles. It puts Target under tight scrutiny to ensure that it properly disposes waste at its nearly 300 stores in California.

Authorities said the Minneapolis-based retailer had no special procedures to dispose of goods such as computers, oven cleaners, aerosols, paint and fertilizers.