Witney MP Robert Courts visited an advanced recycling plant in his constituency to find out more about how building waste is disposed of.
The Conservative was joined by Nicholas Field-Johnson, head of development at Oxford University, for a tour of the Sheehan Group’s advanced recycling plant in Stanton Harcourt.
The water treatment facility is used to wash construction and demolition waste, destined for landfill, turning it into reusable aggregate.
In the past five years The Sheehan Group, a construction and recycling company, has saved 500,000 tonnes of waste from UK landfill sites via the plant.
Half of the recycled material is used in its own construction projects and the rest is sold to contractors.
Mr Courts said he was keen to learn more about the company’s ‘important work’.
He said: “Instead of shipping waste abroad or putting it into landfill we need to find innovative and sustainable ways to reuse it. Sheehan are leading the way in this area and I am delighted to have such a pioneering company based here in west Oxfordshire.”
Managing director Chris Sheehan said recycling and sustainable construction is ‘crucial’ for the UK and it is at the ‘heart’ of his firm, which has funded a scholar on an Oxford University sustainable urban development Master’s course.
“It is important politicians and key decision makers understand the importance of what we are doing and the scope there is to make construction in Oxfordshire much more sustainable,” he said.
“It was a pleasure to show Mr Courts and Mr Field-Johnson around our facility and to receive such enthusiasm for what we are doing.”
The company is due to appeal an Oxfordshire County Council planning decision that refused permission to increase operational capacity at the plant from 100,000 tonnes to 175,000 tonnes per year.
Finance director Tara Sheehan added: “We are thankful to Mr Courts and Mr Field-Johnson taking the time to come and discover what we do as a company and the difference we are making both environmentally and economically.
“Our plant is the only one of its kind in the county and serves such an important function.”