A steel processing and distribution business has been fined £27,000 after admitting packaging waste offences.
Barrett Steel Limited today appeared before Bradford Magistrates' Court to plead guilty to nine offences.
The company, of Barrett House, Cutler Heights Lane, Dudley Hill, Bradford, should have been registered with the Environment Agency and was obliged to recover and recycle a portion of its packaging waste, as well as filing a certificate at the end of each year to confirm it had met these obligations.
However, Barrett – which is a holding company for a large group of companies that import, treat and sell steel – did not register with the Environment Agency.
The omission came to light after the Environment Agency wrote to Barrett about packaging in September 2007. The company confirmed that it should have been registered.
Trevor Cooper, for the Environment Agency, said by failing to register, the company avoided Packaging Recovery Note costs of £7,086 and registration fees of £9,594.
He told the court aggravating features were the length of time over which the offences were committed and that the company avoided registration in circumstances where it knew about the regulations but failed to check its interpretation of the law was correct
In addition to the £27,000 fine, Bradford Magistrates ordered the company to pay compensation to the Environment Agency of £9,594 to cover the unpaid registration fees, as well as prosecution costs of £1,778. Barrett also was ordered to pay a £15 Victim Surcharge.
The magistrates gave credit to Barrett for an early guilty plea and accepted its mitigation that the company had co-operated with the Environment Agency.
The company's solicitor told the bench the offences were a technical breach “due to an honest mistake of law”.