Company that operates T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Homegoods ordered to pay over $2M for unlawful disposal of waste

CHINA - 2022/07/25: In this photo illustration, the American department store chain TJ Maxx logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Massachusetts-based company that operates T. J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods was ordered to pay over $2 million in a stipulated judgment for the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office announced on Tuesday.  

TJX owns approximately 340 T. J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods stores in California, the DA said, ten of which are located in Alameda County.  

Between 2016 and 2021, TJX companies improperly disposed of hazardous waste in trash bins which went to municipal landfills, the DA said. These landfills were not authorized to accept hazardous waste, some of which included aerosol cans, batteries, electronic devices, and cleaning agents.  

The law requires that hazardous waste generated in the normal course of retail business be labeled and put in segregated containers to make sure that incompatible wastes do not mix and cause dangerous chemical reactions.  

TJX was ordered to pay a stipulated judgment of $2.05 million, including $1.8 million in civil penalties, $300,000 in supplemental environmental projects, and $250,000 in reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs. 

The DA claims that this is the second time that TJX mismanaged hazardous waste in California. In September 2014, similar allegations were resolved and TJX paid $2,777,500 in civil penalties and costs.  

As part of the judgment, TJX is required to hire compliance employees to oversee its hazardous waste compliance program. The company will also be audited to ensure hazardous waste is properly disposed of in all of its California stores.  

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"At TJX, we are working on a number of programs to better manage the waste materials resulting from our operations, and we have made a significant investment in time, processes, and resources to strengthen our regulated waste disposal program," said a spokesperson for the company in response to the judgment. "We look forward to cooperating with the State of California moving forward."

The prosecution was led by Alameda, but also the District Attorneys of Riverside, San Joaquin, Yolo and Monterey Counties.