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Brentford Tech Firm’s Recycling Blunder

Charity sanction pays for mass tree-planting in east London

Some of the planted trees - an unexpected bonus of EMC's recycling mistake. Pic: Beth McConnell, Trees for Cities
Some of the planted trees - an unexpected bonus of EMC's recycling mistake. Pic: Beth McConnell, Trees for Cities

A computer support company in Brentford that broke recycling law has paid money to charity to help fund several thousand new trees on the other side of London, at Ilford.

EMC Computer Systems (UK) Ltd failed to register the packaging waste it produced between 2002 and 2003 and from 2008 to 2015.

Companies with a turnover above £2 million, handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging in the previous calendar year, must register with an accredited compliance scheme, and recover and recycle packaging waste.

EMC, based in Great West Road, will pay £8,759.31 to Trees for Cities, which works across the UK and overseas to improve lives by planting trees in cities.

The Environment Agency dealt with EMC’s failure to comply with the law through a civil sanction called an enforcement undertaking, instead of a prosecution. To qualify, offenders must improve practices to avoid similar breaches, while making a financial contribution to a relevant project.

Nikki Collins, a senior waste operations officer for the Environment Agency, said:

Enforcement undertakings ensure that those who commit offences stop offending, come into compliance and take steps to prevent a recurrence.
Offenders should be prepared to take responsibility for their actions and put things right, resulting in a direct benefit to the environment and local communities.

While agreeing to enforcement undertakings, the Environment Agency continues to prosecute organisations and individuals where evidence shows high levels of culpability and serious environmental harm.

Rory Field, corporate partnerships director for Trees for Cities, said:

This money contributed to the creation of a new woodland at Goodmayes Park in Ilford, where more than 500 members of the local community came out to help plant the trees.
Trees bring an amazing benefit to the environment and communities. They catch carbon dioxide emissions, absorb air pollution, and provide a safe haven to thousands of species and sub-species, improving biodiversity and the eco-system.
Trees cool the air, mitigating climate change, and help prevent flash flooding and make people around them fitter, healthier and happier. Urban tree-planting is a great way to benefit the environment and the community.

The company paid the Environment Agency’s costs.

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