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Feature: Knowledge transfer

Five miles from Oxford City Centre, a combined effort is being made to reduce, recycle and re-use Oxfordshire's waste.

Based in Cassington for more than 10 years, sister companies M and M Skips and Worton Composting have recently invested in the waste transfer station at Worton.

This investment in the site's infrastructure has seen development of a new drainage system, hard standing for material reception, green waste composting, provision for wood shredding and recycling of hardcore materials.

Reclamation of scrap metals has increased considerably this year and is expected to be even more successful following last week's introduction of a trommel system, which will sort, shred and dispose of waste which cannot be reclaimed.

The compost site began life as an experimental worm composting plant and, following extensive trials, evolved into one of Oxfordshire's leading licensed composting plants.

The site now accepts more than 12,000 tonnes of green waste each year. This is then shredded, stored, turned and carefully monitored over a 12-week period until it is screened into the Worton blend - a fine grade organic compost and mulch - and Worton Supa Soil - a compost-enriched top soil.

· Worton Composing is a member of the Soil Association and the Compost Association and its product is PAS 100-accredited. Bags of Worton compost are sold back to the public through a partnership kerbside waste recycling initiative in the West Oxfordshire District, thus completing the recycling loop.

· Waste wood is shredded, screened and sent to chipboard manufacturing. The company is currently looking at waste to energy as a fuel source for power stations.

· Scrap metals are cleaned, stripped, graded and resold to merchants to be reused.

· Hardcore is sorted, cleaned, crushed and exported to be reused as recycled building material. Reclaimed building materials are now being extracted, including Cotswold stone, building bricks, concrete blocks, manhole covers, wrought iron gates, Belfast sinks and timbers.

We get a number of enquiries requesting a site visit, to view what actually happens on-site and understand more about what happens to Oxfordshire's waste. We are hoping that when our site is completed, a viewing gallery will be built allowing the public to see what goes on from a safe distance.

With around 50 employees and a joint turnover of around £3 million, around 75-80% of our waste is being recycled.

The investment and commitment to waste management over the years has ensured that tonnages to landfill sites are kept to an absolute minimum.

The companies are becoming a one-stop waste transfer station for an increasing number of building and landscaping companies.

By concentrating on the production of recycled products, they are able to transfer and deliver quality products to the whole of Oxfordshire for a fraction of the price of non-recycled products.

Waste transfer manager Paul Lock is committed to reducing waste and working closely with Worton to recycle green waste and deliver soils at an affordable cost to the customer.

"By working together, Worton and M and M will be able to cut costs, save time and reduce unnecessary journeys," he says.

"Our new campaign Skips and Soils will ensure that M and M will be able to deliver discounted soil in an empty skip before the customer uses it.

"We hope that this will encourage customers to see the benefit of using recycled products and reducing damage to th

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