Tech firm pays for mass tree planting in London after recycling blunder

Certain companies must register with an accredited compliance scheme and recover and recycle packaging waste, which EMC Computer Systems failed to do

The Big Zero report

A London-based computer support company has funded the planting of several thousand trees after failing to register packaging waste.

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

According to the Environment Agency, 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.

It 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.”

EMC therefore paid nearly £9,000 to Trees for Cities, which works across the UK and overseas to improve lives by planting trees in cities.

The money supported the creation of a new woodland at Goodmayes Park in Ilford in London, where more than 500 members of the local community helped plant the trees.

Rory Field, Corporate Partnerships Director for Trees for Cities added: “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.”

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