European Metal Recycling's (EMR) licence renewal application was rejected by the committee because it was fined £400,000 in 2021 for illegally dumping waste in 2016.
A company spokesperson said: "The case arose as a result of an error. This was not a deliberate act and the judge who sentenced EMR recognised this in his sentencing comments. Since then, EMR has made significant improvements to its policies and procedures to ensure that, as far as possible, such an incident does not happen again."
In reversing its decision, the council recognised that the company has an excellent compliance record, is a major local employer and a nationally significant exporter of recycled steel. The company is also implementing a £9 million investment plan at Tilbury docks to increase its ability to export recycled, low carbon metals.