David Cameron visited a construction and demolition waste recycling plant in Oxford on Friday 4th January to see the latest recycling technology in action.
Mr Cameron’s visit preceded the publication of the UK Government’s mid-term review which sets out plans for investment in new road programmes, details of which will be published over the coming months. During his visit he witnessed how construction and demolition waste material could be effectively recycled for use on road construction projects.
Sheehan Contractors installed a new washing plant for construction, demolition and excavation waste in early 2012 and are now supplying a wide range of recycled sand and aggregates to local construction contractors and virgin sand and aggregate producers as well as using the material on the company’s own construction contracts.
Commenting on the visit Mr Cameron said “I was delighted to visit Sheehan’s construction and demolition waste recycling plant in my constituency on Friday 4th January 2013. The project is something that I whole heartedly support, not only will it make a positive difference to our environment but I hope that it will also help to inspire and encourage more businesses in the industry to get involved in similar projects and to really make a positive difference to our recycling practice here in the UK.”
“The new processing system from CDE is the latest technology available for the processing of this material and provides an opportunity for us to move recycled sand and aggregates up the value chain” says Chris Sheehan, Managing Director at Sheehan Contractors. “This material should be seen for the valuable resource that it is and for the potential it offers to protect long term aggregate supply from a sustainable source.”
The new recycling plant is located in the Dix Pit Industrial complex on the outskirts of Oxford and represents a multi-million pound investment by Sheehan Contractors as they expand their recycling operations. In the UK 20% of total aggregates production is currently from recycled sources representing approximately 40 million tonnes. Under the revised Waste Framework Directive EU Member States are required to recover a minimum of 70% of construction and demolition waste by 2020 and 2013 is the first year that progress towards this target will be measured.
Commenting on this initiative Tara Sheehan, Financial Controller with Sheehan Contractors said “The new targets outlined in the revised Waste Framework Directive focus the mind on existing recycling practice in the UK. While our performance as an industry to date is commendable we need to move on to the next level in terms of how we view this waste stream and maximise recovery. It is only through the deployment of advanced processing systems such as the one we invested in that we will be able to make real progress and increase awareness about the high value recycled products that can be produced.”
Sheehan Contractors plan an additional expansion with a potential site on the east side of Oxfordshire having been identified. Commenting on this Chris Sheehan said “Our future plans include the development of a new facility which would double our recycled aggregate production capacity in a strategically important location enabling us to grow market share and also play our part in diverting large volumes of C&D waste material from landfill.”
An additional benefit of the new facility is job security for the foreseeable future for the 50 employees of Sheehan Contractors. In the absence of the new plant; the longevity of the company’s recycling operation was at stake. Expansion in the form of an additional plant on the east of Oxford would ensure the ability to create further employment opportunities in the Oxfordshire area.
- Sheehan Contractors invested in the multi- million pound development of a new recycling site at Dix Pit in Oxfordshire in order to expand the company’s recycling operations.
- This development took almost 6 years to go through the planning process which resulted in more than 500,000 tonnes of recycled material being sent to landfill when over 90% of this could have been recycled to sand and aggregates for use in construction.
- The C&D waste recycling plant was designed and manufactured in Northern Ireland by CDE Global, a company currently exporting over 70% of production to Continental Europe, Russia, Africa, Latin America, India and Australia.
- This technology was developed and introduced in the UK market 10 years ago and the UK currently leads the world in the adoption of these advanced processing systems for C&D waste material.
- In addition to the sand and aggregate production capability of the new recycling plant the system also includes full closed circuit water recycling using the latest filtration technologies which help to minimise the environmental impact of the plant. Over 90% of the water used to wash the C&D waste material is recycled.